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Salt kills more people than sugar?

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A new study has identified not sugar but salty foods are the real killer in America, especially among those under the age of 70, ABC News reported.

The same research team that last week blamed sugar in soft drinks for 25,000 deaths a year in the U.S. has this week linked excessive salt consumption to nearly 2.3 million cardiovascular deaths worldwide in 2010.

Staggeringly, the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston discovered that one in 10 Americans dies from eating too much salt, almost 250,000 a year and ten times as many as caused by sugary drinks.

“The burden of sodium is much higher than the burden of sugar-sweetened beverages. That’s because sugar-sweetened beverages are just one type of food that people can avoid, whereas sodium is in everything” said Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, an epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Mozaffarian collected their data from 247 surveys on sodium consumption and then 107 clinical trials that measured salt's effect on blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

He added one in three deaths caused by excessive sodium occurred before age 70. “It’s really affecting younger adults, not just the elderly.”

The Salt Institute did not agree with Mozaffarian's findings as he set the ideal level of salt consumption at 1,000 milligrams per day. That is half the upper limit recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Tags: health, sugar, salt

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