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Should I limit the salt in my diet?

Pierre Dukan
Nutrition & Dietetics
You could and even should live your whole life on a low-salt diet. People with heart and kidney problems or high blood pressure live permanently on low-salt diets without suffering harmful effects.
The Dukan Diet: 2 Steps to Lose the Weight, 2 Steps to Keep It Off Forever

More About this Book

The Dukan Diet: 2 Steps to Lose the Weight, 2 Steps to Keep It Off Forever

Devised by Dr. Pierre Dukan, a French medical doctor who has spent his career helping people to lose weight, the Dukan Diet rejects counting calories and promises permanent weight loss while allowing...
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Like fat, salt is another example of a demonized compound. While our hearts can’t beat without it, too much sodium can increase blood pressure to dangerous levels -- but only in 10% of the population, with African Americans being particularly sensitive. The only way to know for sure if you’re salt sensitive is to check your blood pressure after you consume salt and compare it with when you’ve been relatively salt-free.

But even if your numbers stay within a healthy range, don’t go crazy with the saltshaker. Sodium mingles with other elements in processed foods and stimulates our appetite, so it can help pack on pounds. The good news is that almost all hypertensive people, i.e., those whose resting blood pressure is more than 140/90, will benefit from reducing their salt intake -- a simple step that translates to an average of five extra years of life for the typical 55-year-old.


Replace your salt shaker with a sodium-free alternative. We all know that hypertension can lead to heart problems, but new evidence suggests that decreasing the salt in your diet can also improve blood flow to the brain and decrease dementia.

Continue Learning about Sodium

Why can eating salt (sodium) raise blood pressure?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
Eating salt, or sodium, can contribute to high blood pressure because it makes you to retain too muc...
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What are the effects of too much salt in the diet?
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Salt is something our bodies need, but when we have too much salt it becomes addictive and increases...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.