No they are not! And here is why.
Some of you may be concerned about salt increase in your diet because you have heard about the increase of BP. I decided to do a literature research on that and have written my article (still in progress for corrections) but the key part–meaning BP increase as a result of salt increase is already set in stone. I decided to copy-paste here for you selected parts of my summary so you can see how meaningless the studies have been and where the statistical errors stand–number in parentheses are references from the original article as I am working on it:
“…studies show that the increase in systolic BP as a result of increased dietary sodium is from 1.5 mm HG to 4.18 mm HG is healthy participants(16) and up to 5.8 mm Hg in hypertensive patients measured in urine(8)…it is evident that normal daily variations of BP move in a significantly larger range. For healthy individuals the daily variation may encompass a nearly ten times increase in BP just from living than the increase we see in BP from eating more salt. [for reference the normal range is 100-139 mm Hg in systolic that is written elsewhere in the paper.]
While it is understandable that BP increase is of concern, the size of the increase must also be significant for it to be true real concern. It is well understood that increased salt increases blood volume(17)… It is also understood that decreased levels of dietary salt reduces BP by about the same amount as increased dietary salt increases BP. There is a direct relation between salt intake and blood pressure, which is shown with the statistical power test in all studies(18). The change is minor in both directions.
We must therefore ask: is the slight reduction worth the trade-of people experience an increase in their triglycerides by a much 7%(6,8,19,20)? Is it a fair and safe exchange to suggest that a hypertensive patient should decrease dietary salt to end up increasing triglyceride levels by 7% but only reducing BP by less than 4%? As shown above, the reduction of dietary salt culminates in a 1.5 mm Hg to 5.8 mm Hg reduction in BP based on patient condition by many studies. Assuming an individual with hypertension of 150/90 BP, the systolic decrease is maximum 5.8 mm Hg (or 3.8%) from reduced salt diet, but which remains a high BP. At the same time, triglyceride increases by 7% so if that patient had normal triglycerides of 145 mg/dL(21), with the 7% increase as a result of reduced dietary salt it jumps to an unhealthy 155.15 mg/dL. The trade-off is not a good one because higher than normal triglycerides may lead to serious diseases(21).”
As you can see:
1) The article snippet here shows that increased salt increases BP quite insignificantly and reduced salt reduces BP also quite insignificantly as well.
2) Decreased dietary salt increases triglycerides, which is the bad particle component of LDL, the bad cholesterol, by 7%–a significant increase.
Thus should you be concerned about increasing your salt? Not a chance! Enjoy your salted meals! The citation numbers are not starting at 1 since I copy-pasted from an article I am writing.
- Graudal NA, Hubeck-Graudal T, Jürgens G. Effects of Low-Sodium Diet vs. High-Sodium Diet on Blood Pressure, Renin, Aldosterone, Catecholamines, Cholesterol, and Triglyceride (Cochrane Review). American Journal of Hypertension. 2012;25(1):1-15.
- He FJ, Li J, MacGregor GA. Effect of longer term modest salt reduction on blood pressure: Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised trials. BMJ. 2013;346.
- FH MSB. Dietary salt reduction; further lowering of target lowers blood pressure but may increase risk. Evidence Based Medicine. 2014;19(1):22.
- Mange K, Matsuura D, Cizman B, et al. Language Guiding Therapy: The Case of Dehydration versus Volume Depletion. Annals of Internal Medicine. 1997;127(9):848-853.
- Texas Uo. Power of a Statistical Procedure. 2012. https://www.ma.utexas.edu/users/mks/statmistakes/power.html. Accessed 12/07/2015.
- Albert GNT, Hubeck-Graudal; Gesche, Jurgens;. Effects of low sodium diet versus high sodium diet on blood pressure, renin, aldosterone, catecholamines, cholesterol, and triglyceride. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2011;11.
- Jurgens G, Graudal NA. Effects of low sodium diet versus high sodium diet on blood pressure, renin, aldosterone, catecholamines, cholesterols, and triglyceride. 2004.
- MedlinePlus N. Triglyceride level. In: Chen AM, ed. MedlienPlus Encyclopedia. internet2014.
Comments are welcome as always!