BEIJING, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Researchers recently conducted an investigation into Chinese people's dietary habits and suggested they should consume less sodium and more potassium.
The research team, led by the George Institute for Global Health (China), the Chinese Center for Disease Prevention and Control and the Queen Mary University of London, collected data from a survey of more than 5,300 participants in the six provinces of Hebei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Qinghai and Heilongjiang.
The results revealed the average sodium intake was over 4,300 mg per day (equivalent to 11 grams of salt), whereas the average daily potassium intake was below 1,600 mg.
Higher sodium intakes, lower potassium excretions, and greater sodium-to-potassium ratios were associated with higher blood pressure (BP), according to the research article published in the journal Hypertension. A sodium intake increase of 1 gram was associated with a systolic BP increase of 1.32 mm Hg and a diastolic BP increase of 0.34 mm Hg.
Each unit increase in the sodium-to-potassium ratio led to a systolic BP increase of 1.21 mm Hg and a diastolic BP increase of 0.44 mm Hg.
The results showed that northern and rural regions of the country had relatively high sodium intakes compared to southern and urban regions, while potassium intakes and sodium-to-potassium ratios were generally similar.
A high-salt and low-potassium diet is common in the Chinese population, according to the article.
It has previously been demonstrated that sodium and potassium intakes are associated with BP. The researchers called on people across the country to decrease salt and increase potassium in their diets to prevent and control hypertension, thus reducing their risk of cardiovascular disease.
The researchers strongly recommended the consumption of potassium-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables. Enditem