Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content material. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, photos, and quotes to which Dr. Greger could also be referring, watch the above video.
Of all of the horrible issues about our diets, excessive dietary sodium consumption, excessive salt consumption, is the main danger, estimated to be inflicting hundreds of thousands of deaths yearly––killing hundreds of thousands primarily by way of opposed results on blood strain and elevated danger of stroke, coronary heart assault, and kidney harm. Hypertension—hypertension––remains to be referred to as the “silent and invisible killer” as a result of it not often causes signs, however is without doubt one of the strongest unbiased predictors of a few of our main causes of loss of life.
We advanced consuming a food plan very wealthy in potassium and low in sodium. But at present, this sample has been utterly reversed. This flip reﬂects a shift from conventional plant-based diets excessive in potassium and low in sodium––a shift from fruits and greens, roots, and tubers to salty processed meals stripped of potassium, which is taken into account a “nutrient of public health concern” as a result of 98 p.c of the U.S. inhabitants doesn’t even attain the really helpful minimal each day consumption of potassium, as I discussed in my final video. And, low potassium consumption itself is implicated in hypertension and heart problems. Yet few physicians truly take into consideration proposing their sufferers eat extra meals which can be excessive in potassium, like vegatables and fruits, to higher management blood strain––despite the fact that a number of meta-analyses have now conﬁrmed that top potassium consumption seems to cut back the chance of stroke.
There’s even a discount in stroke danger unbiased of blood strain results, per different protecting results of potassium, resembling decreasing clot formation, decreasing hardening of the arteries, decreasing the technology of free radicals. Higher sodium consumption is related to a 20 p.c elevated danger of dying prematurely, the place greater potassium consumption was related to a 20 p.c diminished danger of dying prematurely. Yeah, however sodium is present in crappy processed meals, whereas potassium is concentrated in wholesome meals like beans and greens. So, having low sodium consumption and excessive potassium consumption could be a marker for a more healthy food plan—extra plant meals and fewer crap.
How do we all know sodium is cause-and-effect dangerous? Because randomized managed trials present sodium discount results in blood strain discount, similar to there are randomized managed trials displaying that in the event you give individuals additional potassium, you may convey down blood pressures as properly. So, what about utilizing potassium chloride to salt your meals, moderately than sodium chloride? That’s what’s present in these zero sodium salt substitutes.
Potassium chloride is a naturally occurring mineral salt, which is obtained the identical approach we get common sodium salt. Since we get an excessive amount of sodium and never sufficient potassium, this would appear to make potassium chloride a win-win resolution.
Now, entire wholesome plant meals can be one of the simplest ways to extend potassium consumption. Fruits and greens have all kinds of different good issues in them moreover potassium, however now we have 10 research now, randomized managed trials, displaying that simply swapping in some potassium chloride for normal salt can result in vital reductions in blood strain in individuals with hypertension––suggesting that salt substitutes might even assist forestall hypertension as properly. We know that salt substitutes can decrease blood strain, however does it truly lower the incidence of hypertension, and extra importantly, illness endpoints like stroke and mortality? You don’t know, till you set it to the check.
In a randomized managed trial, households had their salt changed with only a quarter potassium chloride. At that degree, most individuals both can’t inform the distinction, and even want the salt with the potassium blended in. Okay, however did it truly do any good? The use of even the quarter salt substitute was related to slicing the chance of creating hypertension in half.
Okay, however what about truly following individuals out to see if there’s any change within the danger of dying from heart problems? Five kitchens in a veterans’ retirement house had been randomized into two teams for about two and a half years, salting meals with common salt or, unbeknownst to the cooks and the diners, a 50/50 mix of potassium chloride. Those within the half-potassium group minimize their danger of dying from heart problems by about 40 p.c, and lived as much as almost a yr longer. The life expectancy distinction at age 70 was equal to that which might have naturally occurred in 14 years––that means that simply switching to half potassium salt appeared to successfully make individuals greater than a decade youthful when it got here to danger of loss of life. As we converse, there’s a large randomized managed trial wrapping up in China, involving 600 villages and greater than 20,000 individuals, that can give us an concept of simply how low we will drop stroke danger with this technique.
China is ideal, as a result of as much as 75 p.c of their sodium consumption comes from salt they add within the house kitchen or eating room, whereas most sodium within the American food plan comes prepackaged within the meat and processed meals we purchase––although actually the meals firms might change over themselves. Why haven’t they? And why haven’t extra individuals embraced these salt substitutes, in the event that they work properly and might style simply nearly as good? We could possibly be “Achieving the Beneﬁts of a High-Potassium Paleolithic Diet—Without the Toxicity.” So, “Is salt substitution ready for prime time or what?” What about security? Yes, there are convincing arguments about the advantages, however what in regards to the dangers, like you understand, the quote-unquote “inclusion of potentially fatal salt substitutes in the food supply.” Wait, what? We’ll speak in regards to the potential downsides, subsequent.
Please take into account volunteering to assist out on the positioning.