JACKSON, Miss. – If you carry a certain gene you may be more likely to have a “salt tooth.”
Doctoral student Jennifer Smith, at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing has found that genetic variations cause some people to be more aware of bitter flavors, according to Web MD.
The study found that these people are twice as likely to exceed the daily limit of salt recommended by heart specialist.
“We found people who tasted bitter more keenly were in fact 1.9 times more likely to be non-adherent to the sodium guidelines,” said Smith.
Eating too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, which increases a person’s risk of having a stroke or suffering a heart attack.
The researchers have different theories as to why people with these genetic variants like to eat saltier foods.
Smith said that people may be using salt more so they can mask the bitter taste of some foods or that these people simple taste salt more intensely and enjoy it more.
It is recommended that a person consumes no more than 2.3 grams of salt per day, according to U.S Dietary Guidelines.
According to the Mississippi Department of Health, there are several things you can do to lower your salt intake:
1. Limit salty snack foods like potato chips, corn chips, salted pretzels and salted popcorn.
2. Choose reduced-sodium products whenever possible, such as reduced-sodium soups, soy sauce,
canned tuna, spaghetti and barbecue sauce.
3. Look out for canned or frozen vegetables. Many have large amounts of added sodium.
4. Nearly all processed foods contain sodium. Opt for fresh foods as often as you can.
5. Avoid fast-food restaurants whenever possible. Menu items are usually very high in sodium.
6. Use salt-free seasoning blends.
7. Season with herbs and spices. Most are sodium-free.