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Study: Consume Less Sodium, More Potassium

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DETROIT (WWJ) – It’s nothing new that too much salt isn’t good for you, but WWJ’s Rob Sanford reports a new study found it can be deadly.

Most of the sodium we consume doesn’t come from the dinner table salt shaker. The majority of salt Americans consume comes from packaged, processed, store-bought and restaurants foods.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that people who eat a diet high in salt and low in potassium double their chances of death from a heart attack.

Researchers looked at the long-term effects of sodium and potassium intake as part of a 15-year study of more than 12,000 people. By the end of the study period, 2,270 participants had died; 825 of these deaths were from heart disease and 433 were from blood clots and strokes.

How much salt is too much? The report says 3,330 milligrams of sodium each day is overdoing it, and that’s the daily intake of the average American.

But, there is an option in the fight against too much sodium and that’s adding to your diet, foods that are higher in potassium. A diet rich in potassium helps to counterbalance some of sodium’s harmful effects on the body.

Dr. Elena Kuklina of the CDC outlined what types of food that would encompass, such as spinach, grapes, blackberries, carrots, potatoes and oranges.

She said in this day-and-age of fast food and processed meals, the healthiest option for individuals is to decrease their sodium intake and increase their potassium intake.

A heart-healthy diet is one that’s low in sodium, cholesterol, saturated and total fat, and high in fruits and vegetables, fiber, potassium, and low-fat dairy products.

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