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Heart, an online journal, says a new review of studies shows that salt substitutes could lower the risk of heart attack, stroke and death. Researchers are reporting that Black Americans have remained at higher risk for heart disease than whites for the past 20 years. About 30,000 people from Western Europe, the Western Pacific, the Americas and South-East Asia participated in the study.  Results of the study revealed that salt substitutes reduced the risk of early death from any cause by 11%, reduced the risk for cardiovascular disease by 13% and reduced the risk of heart disease by 11%.

According to the Office of Minority Health, “African Americans are 50 percent more likely to have a stroke (cerebrovascular disease), as compared to their white adult counterparts.” Last year, a report published by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute reported that “heart disease develops earlier and deaths from heart disease are higher in blacks, due in part to risk factors such as high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.”

Experts say that salt substitutes contain potassium chloride, which is harmful to some people if taken in large quantities. A recent survey by the American Heart Association concluded that substituting sodium chloride with potassium chloride lowered elevated blood pressure.

Dr. Matthew Black, a registered dietitian, says that it is a “common misconception that alternative types of salt are somehow better for you.” Black recommends seasoning your food with freeze-dried herbs and spices or use sodium-free seasoning blends.