Should People with Heart Failure Steer Clear of Salt?

They may feel better eating less salt, but there’s no proof that a very-low-salt diet will help them live longer.


A low-salt diet is universally recommended for patients with heart failure. That’s because sodium, a primary ingredient in table salt, may cause the body to retain water and makes us feel thirsty. Drinking extra fluid to satisfy our thirst increases blood volume, which promotes high blood pressure. If the heart is not pumping well or filling properly, the extra volume can cause swelling, congestion and shortness of breath. Eating less salt can help prevent these problems from occurring.

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