In comparison to people who ate their usual diets, people who reduced their dietary sodium intake while participating in a study saw 25 % to 30% reductions in heart disease and stroke risk 10 to 15 years later.

The study participants didn’t have to stop using salt, all they had to do was to cut down by look out for hidden salt and avoiding it.

All the participants were between the ages of 30 and 54 when recruited and all had slightly elevated blood pressures, but none had heart disease. They were split into two groups. One group was taught to identify, select, and prepare low-salt foods and asked to reduce the salt in their diets while the other group didn’t have to change their salt intake.

Ten to 15 years after, participants who reduced their salt intake were found to have lower cardiovascular risk and a slightly lower risk of death from all causes comparing to participants who ate their usual diets.
Most salts the Westerners consume come from processed foods and the foods they eat in restaurants. This is why it is important to target the food industry and not individuals to lower dietary sodium.

The American Medical Association (AMA) did call for a minimum 50 percent reduction in sodium in processed foods, fast foods, and non-fast-food restaurant meals last year. They also called on the FDA to work harder to educate consumers about the health risks associated with a high-sodium diet.