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Safe salt levels are double those of current guidelines, say experts
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Health warnings about salt have been overdone, an influential expert panel has concluded. The real safe upper limit is more than double the level that health guardians are currently recommending.

People can safely consume around 5 g of salt a day without raising their risk of hypertension (high blood pressure) and heart disease—even though current guidelines warn that any amount above 2.3 g, which is less than half a teaspoon, is dangerous.

Experts from the World Heart Federation, the European Society of Hypertension and the European Public Health Association say they couldn't find any evidence that supports such a low level.

In fact, they say it's not 'feasible' for people to consume such low doses, and it may even be harmful to restrict salt to that extent. Instead, people can safely consume between 3 g and 5 g a day without suffering any health problems, they say.

The current guidelines came about after some studies noted that blood pressure levels had fallen when people were consuming no more than 1.5 g of salt a day, but the findings were 'controversial', the expert panel says.


(Source: European Heart Journal, 2017; 549: doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehw549)

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