Salt. Poor salt. Although studies have shown that it may or may not actually raise the risk of heart disease, it still gets a bad rap among nutritionists and politicians alike. But while that’s unlikely to change any time soon, there is a bit of good news for fans of the beleaguered seasoning.
As The Wall Street Journal reports, a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that people who consume large amounts of sodium may also want to consume high amounts of potassium. The reason? While higher sodium consumption is associated with a greater risk of premature death from any cause, higher potassium consumption is associated with a lower risk.
According to the study, which tracked the diets of some 12,000 adults over the course of 15 years, participants with the highest sodium-potassium ratios (meaning they consumed more sodium than potassium) were twice as likely to die from heart attacks as people with the lowest ratios, and 46 percent more likely to die from a heart-related death.
But while the study, which was published in this week’s Archives of Internal Medicine, may suggest that people can neatly neutralize the ravages of a Double Down with a side of bananas, its authors recommend the same thing that every other diet-related study recommends: Eat more fruit and vegetables and less processed and restaurant food. But given that bananas have plenty of their own problems these days, that does seem like sound, if predictably boring, advice.
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This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 12, 2011