New article on salt is out!
Why Are We So Scared of Salt?
Over the past several decades, the general consensus of health professionals has been to recommend that all people lower their salt intake. Without the recognition of the effects of lifestyle and dietary choice differences, this avalanche of low salt advice hit the general public and as a direct result many became ill. Differences in individual genetic, lifestyle, and dietary factors have completely been ignored in the broad-brush campaign for lowering salt intake. Today, it is unmistakably obvious that a large segment of the population followed the low salt regimen with disastrous consequences.
The professionals who first introduced and propagated the low salt diets had good intentions. They did not know any better. Now we do know better and there is no excuse for not revising a failed treatment regimen in the face of new countervailing evidence. The process of correction needs to begin on a large scale. My work is part of this very much needed correction.
Why Are We Scared of Salt?
In the 1960’s, scientific studies linked salt consumption to hypertension and obesity. I am not quite sure why it was salt they picked on as “enemy number one.” I suspect the reason was the proliferation of precooked and canned food, all of which were salt preserved. To me, it was not logical that only salt was picked on. There were many other dangerous food items that could have been singled out: sugar, margarine, preservatives, pesticides, etc. The American Heart Association still has some of these salt reduction articles on their website. Even today, when waiting for an appointment at my medical institution, the forever-on TV was showing how to cut salt out of kids’ daily lunch to be “healthy.” Indeed, once something is ingrained in our brains, it is habit forming. Habits are very hard to break, particularly when the medical research relied upon showed that salt is something dangerous that may kill you.
Is Salt or Sugar the Enemy?
The problem is that hypertension and obesity are not and have never ever been caused by salt! They are caused by sugar—I am saving the sugar discussion for my next article.
Why not salt? Consider: human fetuses are floating in salt water and are typically not born with heart attack or hypertension. Our bodies are made of over 7% salt, our brains, heart, and all of our cells use salt to function. Humans have always consumed salt. Do they all have hypertension and heart attacks? No, they don’t. In fact, for some time now, studies have been surfacing suggesting that reduced salt does not eliminate the chances for hypertension and heart attack but may even contribute to the problem.