Eating less salt reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke by 25%, scientists have claimed.

In a 15-year study, US researchers from the Harvard Medical School found people who ate less salty food had a 25% lower risk of a heart attack or stroke and a 20% lower risk of premature death.

However, the Salt Manufacturers Association questioned the findings. “The research only relates to subjects who already have high blood pressure. What the evidence does not prove is that salt reduction will have any significant health benefits for the majority of us.”