Innovative Salt Meter Could Revolutionize Low-Sodium Diets, Study Suggests

by Ella

A recent study presented at the World Congress of Nephrology suggests that incorporating a salt meter or sensor into food preparation could significantly enhance compliance with low-sodium diets, particularly in the context of managing arterial hypertension within communities. Conducted in Thailand, the study sheds light on the potential of this technology to empower individuals to make informed dietary choices and gradually reduce their sodium intake over time.

Dr. Surasak Kantachuvesiri, Associate Professor of Nephrology at Mahidol University’s Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, emphasized the critical importance of reducing salt intake for overall health. He underscored the ease of use and effectiveness of the salt meter in controlling salt concentration in food, enabling individuals to transition gradually to meals with lower sodium content.


The salt meter evaluated in the study provides real-time feedback on salt concentration in liquid solutions, displaying results through emoticons such as smiling, surprised, or frowning faces. This innovative approach holds promise for Asian countries, where a significant portion of excess sodium intake stems from homemade soups, sauces, and broths.


Dr. Kantachuvesiri highlighted the broader applicability of salt meters, noting their potential utility in Western countries where soup consumption is prevalent. While current meters primarily analyze salt concentration in liquid foods, advancements are underway to enable analysis of solid foods with prior dilution in water.


The study’s findings build upon previous research demonstrating the efficacy of incorporating salt meters into dietary education programs. In a randomized study involving participants with arterial hypertension, Dr. Kantachuvesiri and his team observed significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure and urinary sodium excretion over an 8-week period.


In the current study, a randomized controlled cluster clinical trial conducted in the Thai province of Uthai Thani, researchers recruited 219 participants aged 18-70 with arterial hypertension. Participants received a comprehensive intervention package comprising education on the risks of excessive sodium intake, low-sodium recipes, and encouragement for community food vendors to offer low-sodium menus. Additionally, participants were provided with salt meters to monitor their sodium consumption regularly.

After 12 weeks, participants in the intervention group demonstrated a significant reduction in urinary sodium excretion compared to the control group. Furthermore, there was a greater reduction in systolic blood pressure among intervention group participants, indicating the potential health benefits of integrating salt meters into dietary interventions.

Dr. Kantachuvesiri emphasized the importance of a multifaceted approach to sodium reduction, highlighting the role of health literacy and dietary preferences in promoting long-term adherence to low-sodium diets. While the study’s findings are promising, further research is warranted to evaluate the long-term effects of salt meter integration in diverse populations.

Despite the potential benefits of salt meters, Dr. Gerardo Gamba Ayala, a nephrologist at the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition “Salvador Zubirán” in Mexico City, expressed reservations about their practicality in Latin America. He emphasized the challenges of measuring sodium content in solid foods and suggested alternative public policy strategies, such as increasing potassium chloride content in salt, to address sodium intake at the population level.

In conclusion, the study underscores the promising role of salt meters in promoting adherence to low-sodium diets and managing arterial hypertension within communities. While challenges remain, continued research and innovation in this field hold the potential to revolutionize dietary interventions and improve cardiovascular health outcomes worldwide.



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