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UK guidelines currently recommend no more than 4.5g of sodium each day, roughly equivalent to a teaspoon-full of salt.
UK guidelines currently recommend no more than 4.5g of sodium each day, roughly equivalent to a teaspoon-full of salt.

Preference for Salty Food Determined By Genes

Preference for Salty Food Determined By Genes

An unhealthy taste for salty foods is the fault of nature rather than nurture, new research suggests.
People with a genetic makeup that makes their taste buds especially sensitive to bitter flavors are nearly twice as likely to consume excessive amounts of salt, a new US study shows.
Too much sodium, largely obtained from salt-heavy processed, pre-packaged and restaurant foods, is known to cause high blood pressure which in turn contributes to heart attacks and strokes.
Previous research revealed that people carrying a common variant of the gene TAS2R38 tended to avoid healthy foods such as broccoli and dark leafy greens, because they tasted the bitterness particularly keenly.
The new research, presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association, found that the same group was 1.9 times more likely to consume higher than the recommended levels of sodium than those without the genetic profile.
UK guidelines currently recommend no more than 4.5g of sodium each day, roughly equivalent to a teaspoon-full of salt, reports telegraph.co.uk.
Lead researcher Jennifer Smith, a PhD student at the University of Kentucky college of Nursing, said: “Genetic factors that influence taste aren’t necessarily obvious to people, but they can impact heart health by influencing the foods they select.
“There is some research suggesting that individuals who taste bitter more intensely may also taste salt more intensely and enjoy it more, leading to increased sodium intake.
The scientist said research indicated that people who tasted bitter flavors more intensely also experience a more intense reaction from salt, prompting them to enjoy it more.
She added, however, that they could also be using salt to mask bitter flavors.

 

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