Fruits and vegetables contain high levels of "good salt" that may fight high blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke, researchers reported Wednesday.
The secret is potassium, found in high levels in fruits and vegetables.
Dr. Curtis Morris and colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco, studied how blood pressure was affected by different salts.
They tested not only ordinary table salt, which is sodium chloride, but also potassium chloride -- marketed as "light" salt -- as well as the plant salts potassium bicarbonate and potassium citrate.
They found that the chloride half of salt may be the culprit in raising blood pressure, not the sodium half.
Potassium salts not containing chloride lowered the blood pressure of rats bred to develop the syndrome, and lowered the incidence of stroke in the animals.
The researchers said their findings indicated that the chloride in potassium chloride might offset any good effects of the potassium.
"Salt-sensitive hypertension is likely to encompass a range of sensitivities," Morris said in a statement.