A New Dietary Approach to Improve Cardiovascular Health

by Ella

In the realm of cardiovascular health, factors such as smoking, sedentary lifestyles, high-fat and high-salt diets, and stress have long been recognized as contributors to hypertension and subsequent cardiovascular disease. However, emerging research suggests that a relatively simple dietary modification could yield significant benefits without necessitating feelings of restriction or deprivation: the substitution of salt alternatives.

Hypertension, a leading cause of strokes, heart attacks, and heart failure, affects approximately one in three adults globally, according to recent data from the World Health Organization (WHO). While age and genetics contribute to this condition, modifiable lifestyle factors such as inadequate physical activity, excessive alcohol consumption, and high salt intake are also significant contributors.


Recognizing the impact of dietary choices on heart health, a team of researchers in China embarked on a study to investigate the effects of salt substitutes on hypertension. Lead author Yangfeng Wu, executive director of the Peking University Clinical Research Institute in Beijing, emphasized the importance of raising awareness about lower-sodium options to mitigate the risks associated with excessive salt consumption.


The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, involved 611 participants aged 55 and older residing in 48 care facilities. These participants, who initially had blood pressure readings below the hypertensive threshold of 140/90 mmHg and were not taking antihypertensive medication, were divided into two groups. In one set of care facilities, 313 participants substituted their regular salt with a salt alternative, while in the remaining facilities, the diets of 298 participants remained unchanged.


Although the specific salt substitute used was not disclosed, the composition reportedly comprised 62.5% sodium chloride, 25% potassium salt, and 12.5% flavorings.


The findings indicated a lower incidence of hypertension among participants who consumed the salt alternative. Specifically, the researchers observed an estimated hypertension incidence rate of 11.7 per 100 person-years among those using the substitute, compared to 24.3 per 100 person-years in those continuing to use conventional salt. Furthermore, participants who opted for the salt substitute experienced a 40% reduced risk of developing hypertension compared to their counterparts using regular salt.

Importantly, the researchers noted that the salt substitute did not induce hypotension (low blood pressure), which can be a common concern among older adults.

“This breakthrough underscores the potential for individuals to safeguard their cardiovascular health while enjoying flavorful meals,” remarked Wu. “Given its demonstrated blood pressure-lowering effects in prior studies, the salt substitute holds promise as a population-wide strategy for hypertension and cardiovascular disease prevention and management.”

In addition to its potential benefits in individual diets, the researchers advocate for the adoption of salt substitutes early in the food production process by the agrifood industry. This proactive approach could mitigate the adverse health effects of processed foods and contribute to broader public health initiatives aimed at reducing cardiovascular disease risk.

Overall, the study underscores the potential of salt substitutes as a simple yet impactful intervention in the realm of cardiovascular health, offering individuals and policymakers alike a viable strategy for improving public health outcomes.



Wellfoodrecipes is a professional gourmet portal, the main columns include gourmet recipes, healthy diet, desserts, festival recipes, meat and seafood recipes, etc.

【Contact us: [email protected]

Copyright © 2023