Salt is Na your enemy

You want the truth you can't handle the truth. Salt is not only good for you, it's essential.

According to the mass media since the '70s, hysterical headlines have proclaimed salt as your worst enemy, and it has greater effect on snowy roads in January than as part of your diet. Not only is the fascination with a low salt diet actually unnecessary, but has greater consequences for your health than you think. It's quite remarkable how such flimsy scientific evidence has carried so far. Actually the main study to 'prove' this showed 'high salt' intake to increase blood pressure no more 3/0 - 6/3mmHg which is similar to that of just putting on a blood pressure cuff.

I'd take it with a pinch of salt ;)

Having less than 3g salt a day could:

  • Increase triglyceride levels
  • Increase insulin resistance
  • Increase activity of sympathetic nervous system
  • All of these increase your risk of cardiovasuclar disease
  • Kidneys to increase renin production, that increases your blood pressure and is associated with increased heart attacks and stoke

All things in perspective though, before you go gorging on salt crystals, a high intake (around 10g a day) is not going to do you any favours. Everything in moderation, high salt will do harm. The poison is in the dose. This really is targeted to those who are obsessed with taking in as little salt they can. STOP IT.

A couple of years ago the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published an article  giving evidence that low salt can actually increase risk of cardiovascular disease, in an analysis of studies involving over 3500 patients.

Your blood contains around 0.9% sodium chloride, yes that's the same as a saline solution doctors use for infusions and wound cleansing. It is essential for maintaining the vital electrolyte imbalance in and out of your cells.

Plus without it my steak would be so bland!

Links

The Intersalt study

JAMA

New York Times - Salt, we misjudged you

Projected effect on salt reductions on future cardiovascular disease