Are We Scared of Salt?

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.

Read more….

About Be Healthy

Angela A Stanton, PhD, is a Neuroeconomist who evaluates changes in behavior, chronic pain, decision-making, as a result of hormonal variations in the brain. She lives in Southern California. Her current research is focused on migraine cause, prevention and treatment without the use of medicines. As a migraineur, her discovery was helped by experimenting on herself. She found the cause of migraine to be at the ionic level, associated with disruption of the electrolyte homeostasis, resulting from genetic mutations of insulin and glucose transporters, and voltage gated sodium and calcium channel mutations. Such mutations cause major shifts in a migraine brain, unlike that of a non-migraine brain. A non-migraineur can handle electrolyte changes on autopilot. A migraineur must always be on manual guard for such changes to maintain electrolyte homeostasis. The book Fighting The Migraine Epidemic: How To Treat and Prevent Migraines Without Medicines - An Insider's View explains why we have migraines, how to prevent them and how to stay migraine (and medicine) free for life. As a result of the success of the first edition of her book and new research and findings, she is now finishing the 2nd edition. The 2nd edition is the “holy grail” of migraines, incorporating all there is to know at the moment and also some hypotheses. It includes an academic research section with suggestions for further research. The book is full of citations to authenticate the statements she makes to be followed up by those interested and to spark further research interest. While working on the 2nd edition of the book she also published academic articles: "Migraine Cause and Treatment" Mental Health in family Medicine, November 23, 2015, open access "Functional Prodrome in Migraines" Journal of Neurological Disorders, January 22, 2016, open access "Are Statistics Misleading Sodium Reduction Benefits?", Journal of Medical Diagnostic Method, February 3, 2016, open access “A Comment on Severe Headache or Migraine History Is Inversely Correlated With Dietary Sodium Intake: NHANES 1999-2004” Angela A Stanton PhD, 19 July 2016 DOI: 10.1111/head.12861 not open access, subscription is required to read it. Dr. Stanton received her BSc at UCLA in Mathematics, MBA at UCR, MS in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, PhD in NeuroEconomics at Claremont Graduate University, and fMRI certification at Harvard University Medical School at the Martinos Center for Neuroimaging for experimenting with neurotransmitters on human volunteers. For relaxation Dr. Stanton paints and photographs. Follow her on Twitter at: @MigraineBook
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