Is Salt Bad for High Cholesterol? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Salt is neutral for high cholesterol. Because it has no fats and does not directly affect cholesterol levels, but excessive intake can lead to high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease.

High cholesterol is a condition that affects your circulatory system.

In high cholesterol, your body has an excess of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, which can clump in your bloodstream.

This forces your heart to work harder to move your blood and increases your risk of circulatory problems, such as heart attacks and strokes.

One of the key factors in managing high cholesterol is diet.

What you consume can affect your blood cholesterol levels, which can impact your high cholesterol symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage high cholesterol, you should consume fiber-rich foods like oatmeal, fruits, and vegetables and avoid saturated fats-rich foods like processed meats, full-fat dairy products, and fried foods.

Now, salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride.

People usually consume it by adding it to their food for flavor or consuming it as part of processed foods.

Salt is not directly bad for high cholesterol because it contains no fats and does not stimulate your body to produce LDL cholesterol.

However, salty foods are often also high in fat, which can increase your levels of bad cholesterol.

Furthermore, too much salt raises your blood pressure, which, like high cholesterol, leads to heart attacks and strokes.

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day and moving toward an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults.

Sodium can negatively affect high cholesterol indirectly by contributing to high blood pressure, which can damage the walls of the arteries where cholesterol collects, clogging up the arteries and making them narrower.

Furthermore, salt is a seasoning and seasonings are neutral for high cholesterol.

Because, while they do not directly affect cholesterol levels, excessive use can lead to other health issues that compound the risks associated with high cholesterol.

That’s why I suggest you limit your salt intake to avoid high blood pressure and its complications.

Stick to less than 6g (about 1 teaspoon) of salt per day to minimize these risks.

Also, you shouldn’t consume high amounts of salt if you have/suffering from high blood pressure to prevent further strain on your heart.

Because high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

You can buy fresh salt in your local market or can order it online.

Always choose iodized salt when possible.

Because iodine is an essential nutrient that helps prevent thyroid problems.

You can store salt in a cool, dry place indefinitely.

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management, and essential medical care is key to managing/dealing with high cholesterol effectively.

I always recommend my high cholesterol patients to follow a high cholesterol-friendly diet to improve their overall well-being, and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutrition coach with over 7 years of experience in the field of nutrition.

He holds a Bachelor's (B.Sc.) and Master's (M.Sc.) degree in Biochemistry from The University of Burdwan, India. He was also involved with a research project about genetic variations in the CYP11A gene among PCOS and Metabolic Syndrome patients.

He has completed the following online courses: Stanford Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford University (US) through Coursera, Certificate in Nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc. (US), Lose Weight and Keep It Off certificate course from Harvard Medical School (US), and Nutrition and Disease Prevention by Taipei Medical University (Taiwan) through FutureLearn.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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