I’m a GP – millions of Brits are at risk of heart attack and stroke from common ‘silent killer’ – here’s how to avoid it

MILLIONS of Britons are at risk of fatal heart disease from a common ‘silent killer’, a GP has warned.

Eating a lot of salt has been linked to heart problems and may increase the risk of stroke.

Many Britons suffer from'salt tooth' - which, similar to'sweet tooth', means you're addicted to the taste


Many Britons suffer from ‘salt tooth’ – which, similar to ‘sweet tooth’, means you’re addicted to the tastePhoto credit: Getty

A GP has warned many Brits suffer from ‘salt teeth’ – similar to sugar lovers’ ‘sweet tooth’.

Some salt is vital to our health – the sodium in table salt is an essential nutrient.

However, government figures say the average daily dose for Britons is eight grams – two grams more than the NHS recommended daily dose, which is equivalent to one teaspoon.

TV family doctor Dr. Sarah Jarvis said: “When it comes to talking about what we eat and the impact it has on our health, sugar is regularly at the forefront of our minds. Then it may come as a surprise that it is excess salt that we really need to tackle.”

She said that “new data paints a worrying picture of” much of the country’s “relationship with salt” as “millions” of us “are putting ourselves at increased risk of heart attack and stroke.”

A 2021 study found the NHS recommended daily amount of salt may be too high.

In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, experts found that every 2.5 grams per day increase in salt intake was associated with an 18 percent increased risk of heart disease.

The results confirm the link between salt intake and stroke and heart disease in the range of 5 to 15 g/day, with the lower the salt intake, the lower the risk of disease.

Foods high in salt are staples in many homes, including cheese, shrimp, ham, granulated sauce, smoked fish, soy sauce and more.

Packaged foods like soups, sandwiches, breakfast cereals, and tomato ketchup can be high in salt. It is therefore worth checking the labels and comparing the products.

This is how you avoid risks associated with too much salt

The simple answer to reducing the risk of sodium-related heart disease would be to eliminate salt altogether.

But that can be challenging—especially if you’re used to using salt to enhance flavor.

A study published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology have found that you don’t have to cut out salt completely to reduce your risk.

In fact, reducing the frequency that you salt foods less after cooking can make a difference — although that doesn’t mean you can go wild with salting your chips.

Lu Qi, a professor at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, said, “Overall, we found that people who don’t add some extra salt to their foods very often have a much lower risk of heart disease.” , regardless of lifestyle factors and previous illnesses.

“This is significant because reducing additional dietary salt, rather than eliminating salt altogether, is an incredibly modifiable risk factor that we hope to be able to recommend to our patients without great sacrifice.”

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Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing russellfalcon@ustimespost.com.

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