Salt lovers rejoice, your day has finally come! A new study published in the American Journal of Hypertension found that Americans actually do consume a healthy amount of salt, despite exceeding the average daily recommendation from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention.
To be clear, this is a review article, meaning the authors didn’t actually perform their own study. Instead they analyzed twenty five previous studies with data from nearly 275,000 subjects that found a link between low levels of salt consumption and greater risk of death.
Previously it was assumed that salt consumption worked on kind of a spectrum where the more salt you consume, the more harmful it is. But now it appears that spectrum is actually double-sided, meaning too little salt can actually be as harmful as too much.
Current CDC guidelines recommends American adults under age 50 consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day to mitigate the risk of high blood pressure, or heart disease and stroke.
But according to the new study, those recommendations are actually too low. The safest range they say is actually between 2, 645mg- 4,945mg of salt per day—just roughly on par with the world average. And people whose salt consumption fell outside of that range had an increased likelihood of death.
Now before you go shot gunning a bag of pretzel salt, remember that 80% of salt we consume as Americans comes from processed foods. As long as you’re making the majority of your meals at home with fresh ingredients, there’s a good chance your salt intake is fine as is.
In the meantime, the CDC continues to stand by their recommendation of 2,300 mg per day issuing a statement that says reducing salt intake the level currently recommended, would prevent tens of thousands of heart attacks and strokes annually.