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A pinch less of salt each day could mean dramatic reductions in heart attack and stroke

Can reducing salt really help reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke and other diseases? A new study shows cutting out about 1/4 of a teaspoon of salt each day could ward off certain diseases and death over time. Viv Williams has details in this episode of NewsMD's "HealthFusion."

A shaker of salt
A small reduction in your daily consumption of salt may reduce risk of disease and improve health
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ROCHESTER — Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. You can help reduce your risk by making choices that include maintaining a healthy weight, exercising and eating right. Part of a healthy diet is paying attention to salt.

A new study shows that even if you only cut out 1 gram (about 1/4 teaspoon) of salt each day, your risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack and stroke may go down.

Researchers wanted to see what reducing salt could mean for the health of people in China. They estimated that if people there cut out one gram over a year's time and sustained that practice, 9 million cases of heart disease and stroke could be prevented by 2030.

They say that keeping this up for another 10 years could ward off up to 13 million cases.

Too much dietary salt may raise your blood pressure, increasing your risk of disease.

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The study is published in the British Medical Journal.

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Follow the  Health Fusion podcast on  Apple,   Spotify and  Google podcasts. For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at  vwilliams@newsmd.com. Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

MORE HEALTH FUSION:
A dog's sense of smell has helped to find missing people, detect drugs at airports and find the tiniest morsel of food dropped from a toddler's highchair. A new study shows that dogs may also be able to sniff out when you're stressed out.

Opinion by Viv Williams
Viv Williams hosts the NewsMD podcast and column, "Health Fusion." She is an Emmy (and other) award-winning health and medical reporter whose stories have run on TV, digital and newspaper outlets nationwide. Viv is passionate about boosting people's health and happiness by helping them access credible, reliable and research-based health information from top experts. She regularly interviews experts and patients from leading medical institutions, such as Mayo Clinic.
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