Salt linked to obesity
Adding an extra sprinkle of salt to food is a kitchen habit a lot of us are guilty of, sometimes even before we've tasted the dish. But shocking new stats outline that adding just an extra gram of salt a day can increase your chance of obesity by 25 per cent.
The diet and health pitfalls of salt are well known and include causing water retention, high blood pressure and a higher risk of heart disease. However latest findings, published in journal Hypertension, are the first to find a link between salt and obesity.
Researchers at Queen Mary University of London looked over data from 458 children and 785 adults from the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey 2008/2009 to 2011/2012. Urine samples were examined, and it was found salt intake in urine was high in people who were overweight or obese.
The research was led by Professor Graham MacGregor who reveals that the exact reason salt has such a powerful impact is unknown, but it's likely down to the substance changing metabolism.
"The food we eat is now the biggest cause of ill health through its high salt, fat and sugar content added by the food industry," said Professor MacGregor, who is also the chairman of Consensus Action on Salt and Health.
"High blood pressure and obesity both lead to the development of cardiovascular disease, stroke, heart attacks and heart failure, which are the commonest causes of death and disability in the UK. Obesity also predisposes to type 2 diabetes, which further increases the risks of cardiovascular disease and can lead to severe complications.
"Such an epidemic will cripple the NHS if the increase in these diet-related issues are not stopped immediately."
So next time you reach for the salt shaker, stop! Seasoning food is an important part of cooking, but adding herbs and spices like garlic powder, cayenne pepper or chilli powder will give flavour and depth to dishes without compromising your health.