Most people know that a too-salty diet isn't healthy, and research offers just another reason why this is so. According to a recent study published in the journal Stroke, people who consume more than the recommended amount of salt each day may be placing themselves at risk for stroke.

Researchers interviewed almost 2,700 adults on their health and diet and discovered that the participants, who were 69 years old on average at the start of the study, consumed an average of 3,031 milligrams of sodium per day. Considering that the American Heart Association’s suggested sodium intake is limited to 1,500 milligrams a day, the study participants were definitely consuming much more than was needed.

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Over the next decade, 235 strokes were reported. Researchers found that those whose sodium intake peaked at 4,000 milligrams per day were three times more likely to get a stroke than those who stuck to the recommended dosage. Among the 558 participants whose sodium intake reached 4,000 milligrams, there were 66 reported strokes. Of the 320 participants who kept their sodium level under control, however, only 24 reported having experienced strokes.

Unfortunately, salt is not exactly something that is easy to avoid. However, there are ways to be smart about your food. Researchers suggest reading the labels on food packaging before you purchase them. Sticking to fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can also help you limit your sodium intake. You may also want to use a variety of spices to add flavor to your food instead of salt or condiments with high sodium levels.

(Photo by aschaeffer via sxc.hu)

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