Older adults using home care could be at a higher risk of cognitive decline if they consume a lot of sodium in their diet and do not get enough exercise.
A study published in journal Neurobiology of Aging revealed that a diet high in sodium was particularly detrimental to mental health when combined with a sedentary lifestyle.
However, sedentary adults showed no cognitive decline if they ate a diet low in sodium.
Senior author Dr Carol Greenwood said: "These data are especially relevant as we know that munching on high-salt processed snacks when engaged in sedentary activities, such as watching TV or playing in front of the computer, is a frequent pastime for many adults."
Consuming too much sodium has been linked to high blood pressure and heart disease risk in previous studies.
Professor Graham MacGregor, chairman of the Blood Pressure Association, said that cutting salt intake could also reduce blood pressure.
Find the nearest Barchester care home