scorecardConsuming excessive salt and inadequate potassium, protein is making North Indians prone to life-threatening diseases: Study
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Consuming excessive salt and inadequate potassium, protein is making North Indians prone to life-threatening diseases: Study

Consuming excessive salt and inadequate potassium, protein is making North Indians prone to life-threatening diseases: Study
LifeScience2 min read
Amidst the rich palette of North India's culinary legacy, where each dish tells a story of tradition and taste, food reigns as a revered art form. From the fiery allure of Chole Bhature to the velvety richness of Dal Makhani, every bite is a symphony of flavours that tantalises the senses and leaves an indelible mark on the palate. Yet, amidst this gastronomic paradise, a recent dietary study has uncovered a sobering truth that lurks beneath the delectable surface.

Focused on sodium, potassium, phosphorus and protein intake, the study delved into the dietary habits of North Indian populations, shedding light on the risks of prevalent non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, cardiovascular issues and chronic kidney disease.

Over 400 adult participants, including both healthy individuals and those with early-stage chronic kidney disease (CKD), were meticulously analysed using 24-hour urinary excretion analysis. This method provided precise insights, avoiding the inaccuracies often associated with dietary recall.

The analysis uncovered unsettling trends: protein consumption falling below the recommended dietary allowance, excessive salt consumption far beyond recommended levels and inadequate potassium intake. The latter two are particularly linked with the risk of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and chronic kidney disease.

These findings underscore the necessity for optimal nutrient intake to maintain cardiovascular and kidney health. They also stress the urgency for personalised dietary interventions to mitigate the risks of prevalent non-communicable diseases.

Emphasising the need for targeted interventions to address the alarming dietary patterns, Prof. Vivekanand Jha, lead researcher and Executive Director at The George Institute for Global Health, India, said: “A poor nutritious diet is a major risk element for non-communicable diseases (NCD), which are of considerable public health concern.

“In India, people eat different foods, so it is important to know exactly what nutrients they are getting to help prevent and manage these diseases. The high salt intake and low potassium intake point to the need to develop interventions targeted to individuals and societies.”

In combating the prevalence of non-communicable diseases, researchers have advocated for multifaceted strategies. These include enhanced food labelling to empower healthier choices, reducing salt content in processed foods, and promoting the consumption of potassium-rich fruits and vegetables.

In embracing an informed and holistic approach to dining, where taste and nutrition harmonise, the populations can not only savour the essence of North Indian cuisine, but also nurture their well-being with every delectable bite.

The study was published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition and can be accessed here.

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