Listen to any mainstream dietary advice and you’ll hear that you have to reduce your salt intake.
Why? Well, because it increases your blood pressure and it’s bad for your heart health… right?
Low-salt high risk?
Previously, we told you how the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) asked three teams of researchers to “crunch some numbers” from salt studies.
It turned out that the researchers couldn’t give any actual results, they just came out with what appeared to be some made-up statistics and percentages and cooked-up this insane recommendation:
Salt intake should be cut by more than half. In 10 years, this would prevent 1.2 million premature deaths.
The truth is, the mainstream’s obsession with the so-called dangers of salt could actually put your health at risk. And this is especially true for the elderly… and there are real studies to back this up:
- A large 2011 study linked lower salt intake with higher heart disease mortality.
- Three different trials tested low-salt diets on patients with kidney disease and heart failure. The results linked low-sodium diets to a higher risk of cardiovascular events and death.
- German research shows that low blood levels of sodium are common among the elderly. Symptoms include fatigue, confusion, and poor balance. But doctors usually just dismiss these symptoms as problems of old age.
And now, the latest study out of Canada shows that eating too little salt could potentially be fatal.
For this recent study, researchers looked at more than 130,000 from all around the world with both high and normal blood pressure to determine if there was any link between salt (sodium chloride) intake and heart disease, stroke, or death.
The results showed that if you suffer with high blood pressure and you are consuming less than 3,000 mg of salt daily, you are at a 34 per cent higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
And if you have normal blood pressure, a low-sodium diet of less than 3,000mg a day can increase your risk of heart attack or stroke by 26 per cent.
The fact is, your body uses salt for optimal muscle and nerve function. And sodium is crucial to restoring your electrolyte balance – especially after an illness or strenuous exercise.
And when it comes to the damaging effects of salt… well, researchers found that you need to consume more than 6,000mg of salt daily.
That’s a lot of salt.
According to this latest study, consume about 3,400mg of sodium daily would be considered a “safe” amount.
You can easily avoid going overboard with salt by trying a pinch of kosher salt – which has a courser grain – or even flaky sea salt. Both these varieties are quite flavorsome so you don’t need to add a lot to season your food.
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Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
“Cutting salt could save hundreds of thousands of lives, study says” Melissa Healy, LA Times, 2/11/13, latimes.com
“European Geriatrics Congress: Low Salt Diet a Danger for Elderly” European Geriatrics Congress News Release, 9/20/04, prnewswire.co.uk
Low-salt diets may not be beneficial for all, study suggests, sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160521071410.htm
Could a Low-Salt Diet Hurt Your Health? health.usnews.com/health-care/articles/2016-05-20/could-a-low-salt-diet-hurt-your-health
Salt and your health part 1: The sodium connection, health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/salt-and-your-health