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This One Ingredient Increases Your Heart Disease Risk As You Age, New Study Says

New research reveals an everyday diet error that can lead to negative health effects over time.

So many great things come with age—but new research has discovered that as many of us get older, wisdom and discipline don't always dictate our choices. In fact, when it comes to diet, a new study has found overwhelming evidence that how our tastes evolve over time may put us at greater risk for two of the most common (and most threatening) medical events.

For decades, we've known that too much sodium can lead to problems like cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure, which can cause stroke. Researchers in Japan recently took this knowledge an important step further to assess whether our salt consumption changes over the years. "Excess salt intake is linked to cardiovascular disease as well as hypertension," they stated, "but whether individual salt intake increases with age has not been studied."

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In the study, which was just published in the journal Nutrition Research, the scientists used repeated spot urine analyses to measure the amount of salt 2,600 participants ate over a 10-year period. From this, they found an average six-percent increase in salt intake over 10 years, as well as an increase in the amount of salt that participants ate year-over-year. As the researchers say, "These results suggest that dietary salt intake increases with age in Japanese adults."

Does this mean we're more likely to throw caution (and our shaker) to the wind as we age? Or does it suggest that our taste perception dulls with time? These are important considerations for the age we live in.

As the New York Times reported this weekend, a growing number of older Americans are dining (and drinking) in public places now that their COVID-19 vaccinations now fully administered. All that restaurant dining requires some savvy about sodium.

If you're venturing out for a meal for the first time since the pandemic started, first read our lists of the 36 Saltiest Restaurant Meals and the Worst Restaurant Appetizers. And to learn about the medical experts who help us bring you the most accurate nutrition news, check out our 17 Healthy Eating Habits To Start Today, According To Our Medical Experts.

Krissy Gasbarre
Krissy is a senior news editor at Eat This, Not That!, managing morning and weekend news related to nutrition, wellness, restaurants and groceries (with a focus on beverages), and more. Read more about Krissy
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