It seems we are always trying to figure out how to live forever (or at least until 100). One of the ways you can affect your longevity is what you put into your body. When it comes to your body’s health, you always want to make sure you’re drinking the right beverages and eating the right foods. Whether you’re currently sick, at risk of developing a disease, or simply want to keep your body in top shape, taking care of your body is essential to living a long and healthy life.
As important as it is to watch what you put into your body, there are small habits you may overlook that contribute to poor health and a shortened lifespan. According to a recently published study European Society of Cardiology, People who add extra salt to their food while sitting at the table have a higher risk of early death from various causes.
Approximately 501,379 people participated in the UK Biobank study between 2006 and 2010. Participants were asked whether or not they add salt to their food. There were also options never/rarely sometimes usually always to eat prefer not to answer. Those who chose not to answer were not included in the analysis.
The researchers also took into account other factors that may have influenced the results. These include age, sex, race, deprivation, body mass index (BMI), smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity and diet. They also took into account the various medical conditions of the participants.
The study defined death before age 75 as premature death. After following the participants for about nine years, the researchers found that, compared with those who did not add salt, Those who regularly add salt to their food have a 28% increased risk of premature death.
In addition, the study found that participants who regularly added salt had a shorter life expectancy. At the age of 50, women’s life expectancy is reduced by an average of 1.5 years. For men, it was 2.28 years.
Salt shakers aren’t the only source of sodium
“This epidemiological study is the first to look at the relationship between table salt shakers and how often people use them,” he shares. Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND nutritionist and Wall Street Journal best-selling author Create your Diabetes Your Plate Cookbook.
According to Amidor, the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans calls for Americans to consume an average of 3,393 milligrams of sodium per day. At the same time, the recommended limit is 2300 milligrams. He goes on to say that they are the highest sources of sodium in the diet do not from the salt shaker. Instead, they eat sandwiches (21%), rice, pasta and other grain foods (8%).
“Adding table salt is not really the main source of where the sodium is coming from,” says Amidor.
How to reduce sodium
While the salt shaker isn’t the main culprit, it still suggests paying attention to how much you’re adding.
“However, as a registered dietitian, I advise against using a salt shaker before Taste your food to see if you really need it,” he says.
In addition, Amidor recommends buying unsalted or low-sodium canned goods.
“Studies also show that rinsing canned beans in water removes up to 40% of the sodium,” he says. “There are also ways to cook at home to help reduce sodium. For example, using low-sodium chicken broth and low-sodium or low-sodium soy sauce.”
He also advises to keep in mind that most foods are very high in sodium when eating. It suggests that many contain at least 75% of the recommended daily intake of sodium. So eating less or using a nutrition facts panel at the facility where possible can certainly help.
“As a society, we consume too much sodium,” says Amidor. “Considering a salt shaker can certainly help reduce consumption. However, there are common sources of sodium that should not be overlooked when trying to change your sodium habits.”
Kayla Garritano is a staff writer for Eat This, Not This! She graduated from Hofstra University, where she majored in journalism and double majored in marketing and creative writing. Read more