After age 30, your arteries get stiffer and less able to widen when they need to, and that may boost your risk of heart attack, stroke, and memory loss. Cutting back on salt may help, even if you have normal blood pressure.
Australian researchers had 25 overweight or obese people with normal blood pressure eat a diet with typical sodium levels (3,600 milligrams a day) for six weeks and a lower-sodium diet (2,600 mg a day) for another six weeks. The participants’ arteries were better able to dilate (widen) when they were on the lower-sodium diet.
What to do: Cut back on high-sodium foods whenever possible.
Source: Atherosclerosis 233: 32e38, 2014.