- Paris Flash
- Real Estate
Chris Prakash, MD
America has a salt problem. To be more precise,America has a sodium problem. Our high sodium diet may be to blame for a lot of our health issues.
First, let me give you a few facts about our high salt diet:
How is Sodium harmful?
Sodium intake is directly linked to development of hypertension. So people may think that since they do not have high blood pressure, they don’t have to worry about salt. Well, think again. High sodium intake has been implicated as a probable cause of stomach cancer, and there is also evidence to suggest that it may cause osteoporosis.
Where is the Evidence?
A major study, based on data from more than 12,000 American adults, took into account all risk factors for death from heart disease. The researchers found that while a diet high in sodium increases the risk, even more important is the ratio of sodium (harmful) to potassium (protective) in one’s diet.
People whose meals contained high amounts of sodium relative to potassium, were nearly 50 percent more likely to die from any cause, and more than twice as likely to die from ischemic heart disease during a follow-up period averaging 14.8 years.
Simple Steps to take
Follow Finland’s Example
Finlandunderstood the perils of high sodium diet and the impact it can have on the health of its people. Through regulation and voluntary efforts, Finlandmanaged to cut sodium intake of its people by an average of one-third, and remarkably it resulted in a decrease in hypertension and premature deaths from stroke and coronary heart disease.
A study by the RAND Corporation tried to estimate what would happen if we were able to reduce the average sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams – the current recommended daily intake – in theUnited States. According to the model, that shift would prevent 11 million cases of high blood pressure and save $18 billion in direct medical costs each year.
That’s a huge public health payoff, similar to what theU.S.would see if Americans cut their tobacco use in half. This seems like a no brainer – cut down sodium for your own health benefits, and consequently save the health care system millions of precious dollars.
This information is strictly an opinion of Dr Prakash, and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Dr Chris Prakash is a contributing columnist, and author of eParisExtra’s “The Doctor is In” column. He is a medical oncologist at Texas Oncology Paris. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Oncology and Hematology. He lives in Paris, TX with his wife and two children, and can be reached at 9037850031, or Sucharu.email@example.com