Sunday , October 17 2021

Hypertension: reduce salt and trans fat

Small change with great impact

Heart disease is by far the most common cause of death worldwide. Hypertension is one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease. In Germany, 20 to 30 million people suffer from it, not infrequently, without knowing it. Researchers are desperately seeking solutions to contain the massive effects of high blood pressure. A study now identifies a simple method by which anyone can reduce the risk of premature death: simply reduce salt intake and avoid trans fat.

A research team at the TH Chan School of Public Health at Harvard has sought easy-to-use measures to reduce the worldwide incidence of heart disease. Two measures proved to be particularly effective: a reduction in sodium consumption by 30% and the absence of trans fats. That alone could extend the lives of about 55 million people, according to the study. The results were recently presented in the journal "Circulation".

A recent Harvard study shows that a 30 percent reduction in salt intake and a trans fat renunciation would extend the lives of millions of people. (Image: Tijana /

Salt and trans fat are often responsible for hypertension

The researchers used global data from various studies and estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) to calculate the benefits of reducing salt and trans fats. As a result, an average reduction of 30% in salt intake can prevent about 40 million premature deaths. Abandoning harmful trans fats would prolong another 14.8 million lives. "These are realistic goals that have proven to be achievable on a smaller scale," says senior author of the study, Professor Goodarz Danaei, in a press release on the results of the study.

Salt increases blood pressure regardless of diet

Although table salt is vital for humans, high consumption is detrimental to health. The western diet is characterized by a high salt intake. Another study from Imperial College London recently showed that salt, regardless of the rest of the diet, causes hypertension. Even with a healthy diet, the negative effect can not be compensated. The German Society of Nutrition (DGE) recommends not consuming more than six grams of salt daily as an adult. For more information, read "Lowering Blood Pressure: How Much Salt You Absorb Has a Significant Impact."

Trans fats clog the cardiovascular system

Trans fats are produced industrially by the addition of hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils. This process makes fats harder and, for example, makes crisp chips and chips or bakery products last longer. Several studies have shown that trans fats increase the risk of heart disease by raising LDL cholesterol levels and decreasing "good" HDL cholesterol levels. In addition, trans fats catch faster than fat deposits in blood vessels, thus promoting atherosclerosis (arteriosclerosis). Canada set a good example in 2018, announcing a national ban on trans fats. For more information, read the article "So harmful are trans fats for our health".

Men benefit most from the reduction

As the researchers noted, especially men should follow this advice. According to the most recent study, two-thirds of non-communicable disease deaths before age 70 are counted among males worldwide.

Salt reduction tips

As the German high pressure alloy advertises, a salt restriction is difficult. Information about food is often difficult to understand. For example, half a ready-made pizza can cover about 70% of the daily salt requirement. The high pressure alloy gives the following salt reduction tips:

  • When cooking, do not salt or just in moderation. Better to use fresh spices.
  • Sausage and cheese often contain too much salt and should be consumed in moderation.
  • Avoid foods that are cured to a great extent.
  • Eat ready meals as rarely as possible.
  • When eating, do without post-salting.

Tips to avoid trans fat

In Germany, there is currently no regulation of trans fat. Only indications such as "contains hardened" or "partially hydrogenated" draw attention to the presence. Mainly there are trans fats harmful in:

  • Goods like donuts, croissants, cakes and biscuits,
  • toppings,
  • Fast food like frozen pizza, burgers and fries,
  • Ready meals such as instant soups,
  • Frozen in meat or fish,
  • Snacks like chips, popcorn, crackers and cereal bars.


Link to original post:

Three public health interventions could save 94 million lives in 25 years of global impact analysis; circulation

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