Sunday, May 25, 2008

Salt: good or bad?

I thought this was interesting. I do not add salt to my food in general - I don't really like it. I suppose I've also had a view that excess salt is unhealthy .

This study casts doubt on that idea....

New study casts further doubt on risk of death from higher salt intake

May 15, 2008 – (BRONX, NY) – Contrary to long-held assumptions, high-salt diets may not increase the risk of death, according to investigators from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. They reached their conclusion after examining dietary intake among a nationally representative sample of adults in the U.S. The Einstein researchers actually observed a significantly increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD) associated with lower sodium diets. They report their findings in the advance online edition of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
The junkfood science blog had a good post on this subject last year: Salt Shaking News


Ronald said...

If you have sodium sensitive hypertension (about 10% of the population world wide (30% in slave descended American blacks, probably because conditions were so awful on slave ships that the resistance it gives to dehydration was a major survival edge)), you may well need to watch your salt intake, or as a friends cardiologist said, "If your cardiologist tells you to watch your salt intake, do so, otherwise, don't worry about it".

You should just pee out excess salt.

Debs said...

I've seen other sources that agree salt intake probably isn't detrimental. Interesting that lower sodium diets produced a stronger association with CVD! I wonder whether salt is a protective factor or if people on low-sodium diets were drawn to eating something unhealthy to make up for the lack of salt.

I wonder too if part of salt's bad reputation has to do with the kind of food that's typically over-salted, at least in America. Salt covers up rancid flavors and poor quality ingredients, becoming the dominant flavor itself. Really salty fast foods are terrible for you, but it's not because of the salt.

I try to use just enough salt to bring out the flavor and no more, but not because I'm worried it's a risky ingredient. I do that because a lot of salt, like a lot of spice, affects your taste buds in such a way that you begin to need the salt to taste the food more than you would otherwise.

Food Is Love

hesslei said...

Sodium is one of the primary electrolytes in the body. All four cationic electrolytes "sodium, potassium,
magnesium, and calcium" are available in unrefined salt, as are other vital minerals needed for optimal bodily
function. Too much or too little salt in the diet can lead to muscle cramps, dizziness, or even an electrolyte
Disturbance, which can cause severe, even fatal, neurological problems.


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