How Can I Lower My Chances of Stroke?

Salt may be one of the most significant contributing factors in cardiovascular diseases. Heart disease and stroke combined kill approximately 769,000 people every year in the United States but in Finland a recent study has shown that decreasing one’s intake of salt by 35 percent has been associated with an 80 percent decrease in stroke and heart disease related deaths. Ironically during the same 35 years American’s combined have increased our salt consumption by roughly 55 percent on average.

Add 6-7 Years To Your Life

The research conducted by Dr. Heikki Karppanen of the University of Helsinki and published in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases took place over the span of 30 years and found that reducing the intake of salt further increased the life expectancies of the Finnish population by six to seven years. This dietary change could easily bring life expectancies well into the eighties and close to the nineties for some populations.

Analysis the association leads researchers to believe that increased salt consumption leads to higher blood pressure and is a contributing factor to atherosclerosis, or the hardening of arteries due to plaque build up. When blood pressure is raised the inner lining to the arteries is more easily torn and damaged. As a result arterial blockages occur causing strokes and heart attacks.

What Does All This Mean to Me?

The doctors however are very direct in indicating that this finding is merely an association and not causation. The rise in salt intake is also correlated with a dramatic rise in consumption of sugary drinks and obesity, both of which do not do the arteries any favors. As a rule of thumb however, you likely be better off skipping on the dash of salt in your cooking and the high sodium processed dinner you were thinking of indulging in. Maybe you should also take a look at the nutritional contents of the restaurant you frequent; you may be surprised at what you see. If you're one of those consumers of too much salt, you might also want to see how you can lower your blood pressure in just 10 minutes.

Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, 2006, Vol. 49, Sodium Intake and Hypertension

Leading Causes of Death

Heart Disease is easily the leading cause of death in America. One of the major contributors to heart disease is cholesterol. See the following posts for more on lowering your risk for heart disease:

How To Lower LDL Cholesterol Levels Naturally

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