Salt is one of the latest commodities that we consume that has been demonised by science and the Daily Mail can’t wait to churnalise. Churnalism is hard pressed hacks regurgitating science papers on a cut and paste basis without any critical analysis. In the UK we even have Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) whose mission statement is “Consensus Action on Salt and Health is a group concerned with salt and its effects on health, supported by 25 expert scientific members.
CASH was set up in 1996 as a response to the refusal of the Chief Medical Officer to endorse the COMA recommendations to reduce salt intake, following the threat of withdrawal of funds by the food industry to the Conservative Party. This view was contrary to the current medical and scientific consensus and we aim to counter these claims with the wealth of scientific evidence, which clearly links high salt intake to ill health.”
Hope is at hand as a new study from Belgium suggests that those of us who are healthy have nothing to fear and even goes on to say “Surprisingly, they also found that the higher the salt intake, the less likely study participants were to die from heart disease. In the meantime my chips will be getting its usual liberal dose from the shaker.
“Salty Diet May Be Okay for Healthy People
Salty Diet May Be Okay for Healthy People
Everyone knows too much salt causes high blood pressure, which can cause heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and possibly death. That means we should all eat a low sodium diet to stay healthy. Or should we? A team of scientists led by Jan Staessen, MD, PhD, of the University of Leuven (Belgium), and colleagues, found that in healthy people, a low sodium diet did NOT protect against high blood pressure, and those healthy people with the lowest salt intake were more likely to die from heart disease.
For eight years the Belgian team followed nearly 3,700 participants who were roughly 40 years old. They measured blood pressure and the amount of sodium in each study volunteer’s urine once at the beginning of the study and once at the end. None of the study volunteers had high blood pressure when the study began. By the end of the study, volunteers with the lowest salt levels (2,500 milligrams per day) were just as likely to have high blood pressure as those who had the highest salt levels (6,000 milligrams per day).
t really boils down to how much salt is safe in our diets. We all need salt in our diet to survive, and we know too much salt can be harmful. Our kidneys control the level of salt in our bodies allowing us to release excess salt out with our urine. However, when there is too much salt, the kidney’s can’t keep up, and excess salt ends up in our bloodstream.
Salt draws in water. (Ever notice how you’re always thirsty after a handful of salty peanuts or chips?) More water in the bloodstream causes an increase in blood pressure. At high blood pressure levels, the heart has to pump harder to get blood to all our vital organs. Forcing the heart to pump harder, puts unnecessary strain on the muscle and can lead to heart disease.
In the end, we can take the study results with a grain of salt. If you really want to lower your risk of high blood pressure, lose weight and eat right. Studies show that when overweight people lose even 5 percent of their body weight, their risks of high blood pressure decreases. Cutting back on fats, sweets, and sugary soda and eating the appropriate amounts of fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy are proven to lower blood pressure.”