People who ate lots of salt were not more likely to get high blood pressure, and were less likely to die of heart disease than those with a low salt intake, in a new European study.
The findings “certainly do not support the current recommendation to lower salt intake in the general population,” study author Dr. Jan Staessen, of the University of Leuven in Belgium, told Reuters Health.
Current salt guidelines, including those released by the U.S. government in January, are based on data from short-term studies of people who volunteered to be assigned to a low-salt or high-salt diet, Staessen said.
The U.S. guidelines recommend that Americans consume less than 2,300 milligrams of salt daily – 1,500 mg in certain people who are more at risk for high blood pressure or heart disease.
You may have noticed that, much like other conservatives, doctors are generally resistant to new information like this.
4 thoughts on “Yay”
Salt is a necessary part of our electrolyte balance. Healthy people need salt.
Yes, healthy people need salt, but healthy people also need vitamin A. However, there is a level at which vitamin A becomes toxic. Healthy people need water, but you can actually drink too much water. There is enough, too little, and too much. I have a brother who has not added salt to any food he has eaten for 40 years and he is the healthiest person I know. At 60 years of age, he has the physique of a 25 year old.
I haven’t had any problems with my heart and I haven’t added salt to anything I eat for twenty-five years. At 53, I’ve had EKGs and various tests and I have a very healthy heart. The fact is, if you eat a balanced diet, the food you eat has enough salt in it naturally to give you all that you need.
I’ve had to watch my salt intake since my early 20’s, when I was diagnosed with idiopathic edema, which is an actual diagnosis of the body’s water retention hormones going wacky. It started suddenly when I was in graduate school, and I soon couldn’t wear any of my shoes because my feet were so swollen. After many tests, it was determined that I had ideopathic edema — and the doctors had no idea why. Ever since I’ve had to closely watch salt intake.
Periodically, manufacturers announce they are going to lower the salt content of their prepared foods — seldom does much happen.
Now, mfrs are increasingly charging even more to provide lower sodium foods. Or if something is lower in sodium, it’s higher in fat and/or sugar.
But what’s really getting irritating, for me, is that now many meat products have added sodium. I can’t buy meat at Aldi’s because almost every meat is prepackaged and has added sodium. I just saw at my local Pathmark chicken breasts (on sale) with a sodium content of 340mg sodium (raw chicken breast au natural has about 85mg in 3 oz).They were also swimming in liquid (brine?). For someone who has to watch salt intake, that means I can’t buy that chicken. Most turkeys also now have added sodium; it’s getting harder and harder to buy a turkey which doesn’t have added sodium.
Also, I’ve just realized that often the chicken packaged at the grocery store, without nutritions labeling, is actually meat with added sodium (it can say all natural ingredients since salt is natural — just not natural in chicken breast at a high level). I’ve never been able to use the nicely flash frozen individually frozen chicken breasts since they have added sodium.
The breasts with natural sodium cost $9 for less about a pound at the Pathmark. Organic turkeys, which usually don’t have the added salt, cost much more than other turkeys. It used to be that only Butterballs had the added sodium; now it’s almost all brands.
I can always add salt — I can’t get it out of meat soaked in a salt solution. I can’t remove it from foods at restaurants, so, aside from cost, I tend to stay away from restaurant food. (I did notice that NYC restaurants tended to use less salt than those here in NJ; don’t know about now.)
I would wait for additional studies before accepting this as a dietary guide. But, interesting study. I wonder what “high salt” means to Europeans?
Heh! You know this reminds me of the Woody Allen movie where he’s frozen and is woken up in the future to find out that all the health ‘advice’ in his time had been proven wrong in the intervening years.
On a more serious note, this is like every other health care topic. The dialogue is so polluted by corporate manipulation and media complacency (fealty?) that the general public can have no confidence in any statement. I guess that means mission accomplished for corporate interests.
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