It’s a dream of mine that I can eat salt again with abandon. I’ll take every grain of research that says something positive about salt to convince myself that sprinkling that tasty white diamond of a mineral on my food isn’t, um, unhealthy. Recently I discovered I have borderline high blood pressure. I lead a very active athletic life - swimming and cycling routinely - so undoubtedly salt is high on the list of contributing causes to my condition. So the story in the New York Times saying that new research “found that a low salt-diet might actually increase the risk of death from heart attacks and strokes,” made me smack my lips and say, “A saltine, anyone?”
Ah. But there’s a catch. Before I could even grab a salt shaker, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was publicly upbraiding the study for being “small” and saying that it “flies in the face of the body of evidence indicating that higher sodium consumption can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.”
A contentious fight is brewing: On the one side, proponents of salt and on the other, a range of public health advocates who believe that the use of salt should go the way of cigarettes. Sounds like it will take someone who has the skills of negotiating a SALT Treaty to solve this one.
Previously: AHA calls for population-wide reduction in daily salt intake, National guidelines for salt intake questioned, Hold the salt, and help the heart, Holding the salt could save lives, money and A grain of salt concerning salt-intake reduction
Photo by TheGiantVermin