In some cultures, it is considered polite not to season your food at a restaurant or at a friend’s home. You eat it the way that the chef prepared the dish. Not only is this showing respect to the chef, but it is also healthier for you.
A recent study of 500,000 middle-aged Britons showed that those who didn’t regularly add salt to their food lived longer.
Researchers found enough compelling evidence to advise people to stop seasoning their meals. The research showed that adding salt to food for every meal knocked two years off the lives of men in the study and 1.5 for women.
“To my knowledge, our study is the first to assess the relationship between adding salt to foods and premature death,” said Prof Lu Qi of Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, who led the work. “Even a modest reduction in sodium intake, by adding less or no salt to food at the table, is likely to result in substantial health benefits, especially when it is achieved in the general population.”
The study looked at participants from the UK BioBank Study, which looked at participants over nine years who were asked to report on their salt consumption. Participants who always salted their food had a 28 percent increased risk of dying prematurely. Other factors that might have affected the outcomes, like sex, age, smoking, ethnicity, exercise, and others were accounted for in the study.
For things like smoking and higher-than-moderate drinking, it is easy for experts to advise patients to stop outright. Salt consumption, however, is a little trickier. For those consuming normal levels of salt, not throwing it on to every meal, probably have nothing to worry about. If you do season your food every meal, then you should counterbalance that with lots of vegetables and fruits. Those with a risk of heart disease should probably consider cutting salt out altogether.