The Great Salt-Sodium Hoax: Eating More Salt Might Actually Save Your Life

different types of salt (pink, sea, black, and with spices)

by Paul Fassa
Health Impact News

Around 2012, and immediately before and after, Health Impact News featured some seriously thought provoking attacks on reigning dogmatic nutritional salt myths. The reports were from several experts such as Dr. Joseph Mercola, Dr. David Brownstein, author of Salt Your Way to Health, and the satirical approach of Scottish M.D. Malcolm Kendrick.

My favorite Health Impact News article on the matter was by Dr. Kendrick, who explained that the low sodium diets seem to forget that salt is composed of two molecules, salt (Na) and chloride (Cl). The chemical formula for salt is NaCl, or sodium chloride, which is salt.

Then he flashed a study that warned low serum chlorine was more dangerous than previously considered, concluding:

Low, not high Serum Cl- (<100 mEq/L), is associated with greater mortality risk independent of obvious confounders. Further studies are needed to elucidate the relation between Cl- and risk. (Study abstract)

Despite the growing evidence that low sodium causes more harm than high sodium, and using unprocessed salt has more benefits than commercial processed table salt, the mostly unsubstantiated belief that salt needs to be demonized persists. The revelations of good science are continually crushed by the pressures of public health policy.

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High Salt Diet Protects Against Infection, Boosts Immunity

Pink Himalayan Salt

The dietary tides are once again turning for salt.

You may remember a landmark JAMA study in 2011 that showed that contrary to what the medical community espoused for years – salt actually lengthens your life; it doesn’t cut your life or raise the risk of hypertension. That study found that people actually lived longer if they consumed salt. Notably, they were not studying pink Himalayan salt, but regular old, processed table salt. (more…)

Why Low Salt Diets Increase Risk of Death and Cardiovascular Disease

The pharmaceutical industrial complex has had great influence in scientific journals, medical literature and consequently Physicians in promoting the idea that salt is a baddy. Contrary to public perception, the reason the mantra of “eat less salt” has been advocated so strongly in decades past was due to the higher risk associated with cardiovascular disease which increased profits for pharmaceutical drugs. The proof as they say is in the pudding.

 http://chriskresser.com/wp-content/uploads/Salt-Chips1.jpg

Even a recent report commissioned by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) stated that salt is no longer considered a substantial health hazard. What the CDC study reported explicitly is that there is no benefit, and may be a danger, from reducing our salt intake below 1 tsp per day.
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CDC Admits Long-Standing Error in Medical Science – There Is No Benefit In Reducing Salt Intake And It May Even Be Dangerous

A recent report commissioned by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reviewed the health benefits of reducing salt intake and the take-home message is that salt, in the quantities consumed by most Americans, is no longer considered a substantial health hazard. What the CDC study reported explicitly is that there is no benefit, and may be a danger, from reducing our salt intake below 1 tsp per day. What was absent about the report was is the difference between healthy mineral salts and iodized table salt.

It may be that we’re better off with more salt than less, up to 2 or even 3 tsp per day. How did it happen that such standard medical advice drifted astray, then went un-corrected for so long? (more…)

Salt and Heart Disease: Shaky Science?

Salt and Heart Disease: Shaky Science?

Recent news from the American Heart Association claims that 1 of every 10 Americans dies from eating too much salt.  But is it true?  Health organizations and groups with political agendas are ignoring a growing body of research finding that less salt does not equal a longer life and in fact can have some dire consequences.

The AHA news was based on a Harvard study using computer modeling to also estimate that 2.3 million people worldwide died of too much salt in 2010.  The study recommended that dietary sodium be cut to 1,000 milligrams per day – less even than AHA guidelines.  (more…)

Why High Salt Consumption Alone Will Not Increase Your Heart Disease Risk

By Dr. Mercola

Salt has long been a treasured food staple. Far from being harmful, high-quality salt is actually essential for life, but in the United States and many other developed countries salt has been vilified as a primary cause of high blood pressure and heart disease.

According to preliminary research presented at an American Heart Association meeting in New Orleans on March 21,1 excessive salt consumption contributed to 2.3 million heart-related deaths worldwide in 2010; 42 percent from coronary heart disease and 41 percent from stroke.

This includes sodium intake from commercially available table salt and sodium found in processed foods and soy sauce. According to the researchers, 40 percent of deaths were premature, occurring in those under the age of 69. Sixty percent of the deaths were in men; 40 percent were women.

To reach these conclusions, the researchers analyzed 247 food surveys on sodium consumption collected between 1990 and 2010. From these, they tried to determine how the various salt intakes affected cardiovascular disease risks. The ideal salt intake was determined to be less than 1,000 mg per day.

Kazakhstan had the highest average salt intake at 6,000 mg per day. Kenya and Malawi had the lowest average intake at about 2,000 mg. Other salty regions included Central Asia, with an average of 5,500 mg sodium per day; high-income countries in the Asia-Pacific area, averaging 5,000 mg per day; and East Asia at 4,800 mg per day.

According to the featured article:2

“Global sodium intake from various sources such as prepared food and soy sauce averaged nearly 4,000 milligrams a day in 2010… In the U.S., the average intake was about 3,600 milligrams a day. While the World Health Organization recommends sodium intake of fewer than 2,000 milligrams a day, 181 of 187 countries representing 99 percent of the world’s population exceeded the recommended level.”

You Need Salt, But Make Sure It’s the Right Kind (more…)

Scientists Officially Link Processed Foods To Autoimmune Disease

The modern diet of processed foods, takeaways and microwave meals could be to blame for a sharp increase in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, including alopecia, asthma and eczema.

A team of scientists from Yale University in the U.S and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, in Germany, say junk food diets could be partly to blame.

‘This study is the first to indicate that excess refined and processed salt may be one of the environmental factors driving the increased incidence of autoimmune diseases,’ they said.

Junk foods at fast food restaurants as well as processed foods at grocery retailers represent the largest sources of sodium intake from refined salts.

The Canadian Medical Association Journal sent out an international team of researchers to compare the salt content of 2,124 items from fast food establishments such as Burger King, Domino’s Pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Subway. They found that the average salt content varied between companies and between the same products sold in different countries. (more…)

Real Salt, Celtic Salt and Himalayan Salt

Description: http://www.rawmazing.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/DSC_09711.jpg

This is what real salt looks like—we all know what regular white salt looks like—and we mistakenly think it is real salt when it is not. The fact is that refined white salt, such as commercial table salt is bad, very bad stuff. Unrefined natural salt on the other hand is good, very good stuff providing many health benefits.

Unrefined sea salt is healthy. The blood-pressure-raising effect of table salt can be due to its high content of sodium with not enough magnesium to balance it. This has a magnesium-lowering effect that can constrict the arteries and raise blood pressure. Real salt (of various kinds) contains plenty of magnesium and other important minerals, which is why it usually does not affect blood pressure in a negative way.[1] (more…)

New research shows health benefits of salt

In a recent New York Times article, award winning science journalist Gary Taubes describes the considerable efforts and expenditures made by government public health agencies to support and promote salt restriction, despite clinical evidence which does not support population-wide salt reduction strategies.

According to Taubes, a flood of new research published in the last two years has not only shown the health benefits of salt but also revealed the risks of low-sodium diets.

“There was no disputing that salt is a natural, no-calorie and tasty nutrient essential for life, but the biggest nutrition story in recent years is the proof that following the government’s low salt advice could actually shorten your life,” says Lori Roman, president of the Salt Institute. (more…)