Over the last few years there has been a lot of confusing — and conflicting — research and information on salt and a diet high in sodium. And a new sodium study is out, proposing a new method to better understand sodium's negative impacts on the body: the sodium-potassium ratio.
Published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the study found that it's not just high levels of sodium that increase the risk of death from heart disease and other causes, but instead it is the combination of a diet high in sodium and low in potassium. When researchers examined sodium-potassium ratios of subjects, they found that those people who had the worst sodium-potassium ratio — meaning people with the highest sodium levels and lowest potassium intakes — had twice the risk of death from heart disease and a 50 percent increased risk of death from any cause.
According to current health guidelines, 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day is the maximum recommended amount and a potassium intake of 4,700 milligrams a day is recommended. To increase the amount of potassium in your diet, try eating foods that are rich in this mineral including purple cauliflower, bananas and celery.