SALT, How Much is Too Little?

Submitted by Charles Knighton
Salt to add 'taste' to food

Salt to add ‘taste’ to food

“A few years ago, the National Commission for Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases created a strategic plan to combat CNCDs in this country. Their initial focus was on this country’s salt intake and how to reduce it…”

Janelle Riley-Thornhill, “Towards a healthy nation” July 31 Advocate

Except for the youngest amongst us, I am certain we all can remember edicts coming from the medical/scientific establishment about what was either good for us or bad for us, only to later learn such advice was not factually warranted. If as individuals we were permitted to heed this advice or not, I would have no problem with their pronouncements. But the nanny-state takes such edicts seriously, going so far as to create commissions whose mandate is essentially to coerce the public into compliance. If such advice later turns out to be erroneous or worse yet, harmful, oh, well, it was well intended.

Such “experts” have long blamed excessive salt in our diet for rising rates of heart disease, high blood pressure and kidney disorders. But too little salt can be a bad thing, too, as lowering sodium intake too much may actually increase a person’s risk of some health problems, says a new Institute of Medicine report.

The American Heart Association recommends 1,500 milligrams or less of salt per day, but the new report found that reducing sodium intake below 2,300 milligrams a day may backfire. In one recent study of patients hospitalized for congestive heart failure, those who consumed 1,800 milligrams of sodium daily were twice as likely to die during the study period as patients who took in 2,700. Another study found that the risk of heart attack and stroke among people with high blood pressure was higher if they ingested less than 3,000 milligrams of salt per day.  Low sodium levels seem to increase insulin resistance and stress the heart in other ways.

“Until now it was all about blood pressure,” says Albert Einstein College of Medicine researcher Michael H. Alderman. “Now we know it is much more complicated.”  Doesn’t that ALWAYS seem to be the case?

17 thoughts on “SALT, How Much is Too Little?

  1. sea salt is better than others?

  2. “Lower salt intake may cause (not prevent) Heart disease

    by: Kimberley Stakal

    You’ve been so good about watching your salt intake. Using the sesame seed shaker on your grilled fish, making dried herb blends for your marinades and opting for the low-sodium shoyu sauce. Yes, you’ve been on board with countless other Americans in the quest for a low-sodium intake as a means to stave off high blood pressure and heart disease.

    But recent research has dropped a huge bomb on the low-salt theory: Researchers found that high salt intake did not increase an individual’s chance of increased blood pressure or cardiovascular disease. In fact, they found the opposite — those following low-salt diets had the highest incidence of CVD-related deaths. What does it all mean?

    The study published in the Journal of American Medical Association just last month has gotten both medical professionals and consumers in a huffy. For the last half century, doctors have been telling us to reduce our salt intake. Doing so will reduce our risks for developing high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Yet researchers in JAMA looked at about 4,000 people over the course of eight years, and they found no significant changes in diastolic blood pressure from high salt consumption. And the perhaps most radical finding of all, those consuming the least amounts of salt actually suffered from the highest rates of cardiovascular diseases.

    Needless to say, there are numerous critics of the study. Among the drawbacks to the study are a small study group, a relatively young study group and a lack of control for urine sampling (the method of testing salt intake in the research).”

  3. There is not one thing wrong with natural salt….dabble a bit on a piece of green golden apple or on a tamarind….. Ummmmm!

    The problem is with the processed junk sold to us with all the chemicals added.
    A lot of those scientist are jokers…. LOL…as is anyone who can believe in evolution…. 🙂
    ..imagine some of those mock scientists were also arguing that Bushie should not drink coffee… Steupssss

  4. Nothing in moderation hurts. Salt, regardless which type is used, and like anything else, it should not be used in excess. However, if you have certain illnesses such as kidney disease, salt should be limited and/or omitted in some instances from your daily intake.

  5. There is a good case for reducing the amount of slat added to food given that much of the food consumed today is processed and already preserved with loads of salt to extend self life and “use by/ expiry” dates.

    Given our modern sedentary life styles too much salt can indeed put too much stress on the kidneys to eliminate from the body especially among people of West African origins already prone to blood-related genetic conditions. In the past much of the salt consumed was eliminated via the skin by means of sweating from physically demanding work, walking and general exertion and not looking at the TV while playing with the blackberry.
    All said, salt is indeed a very important mineral for the effective functioning of the human body.
    Primates, especially humankind, have a strong anthropological affiliation to and indeed imitate elephants in many ways especially in their natural family and social bonding and rituals like mourning their dead.
    The same way elephants travel long distances to seek out sources of natural salt, humans also need to consume adequate amounts along with water.

    After all there is some relevance of the Biblical reference to good people being “the salt of the earth”.

    Basic rule: The more physically active you are the more salt intake is required with the reverse holding just as true.

  6. @ Miller
    After all there is some relevance of the Biblical reference to good people being “the salt of the earth”.
    …not “good people” Miller, …”righteous people”.

    …and the effect of such righteous persons on the ‘wicked’ of this world is similar to that of salt on our African snails….or indeed on other slimy types 🙂

    ….and leave the bible references to GP and Zoe please… LOL

  7. @ Charles Knighton
    “… Institute of Medicine report”

    Would you mind providing the link to the report?

    @ Carson C. Cadogan
    “Lower salt intake may cause (not prevent) Heart disease
    by: Kimberley Stakal ”

    Would you mind providing the link to the report?

  8. If you have t take medication to reduce your blood pressure to less than 120/80 you have taken/are taking too much salt.

    If you don’t know what your blood pressure is, ask your polyclinic or your doctor. Ask them as well to show you how to take your own blood pressure at home. Buy a blood pressure monitor. They are cheap, especially with a BARP discount.

    Exercise more. Eat less. Drink plenty of water. Don’t smoke anything. Drink no more than 4 alcoholic drinks a week, and stretch those 4 over the 7 day period.

  9. Nostradamus

    You may also be interested in this article.

    “No Benefit Seen in Sharp Limits on Salt in Diet


    …………But the new expert committee, commissioned by the Institute of Medicine at the behest of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said there was no rationale for anyone to aim for sodium levels below 2,300 milligrams a day. The group examined new evidence that had emerged since the last such report was issued, in 2005.

    “As you go below the 2,300 mark, there is an absence of data in terms of benefit and there begin to be suggestions in subgroup populations about potential harms,” said Dr. Brian L. Strom, chairman of the committee and a professor of public health at the University of Pennsylvania. He explained that the possible harms included increased rates of heart attacks and an increased risk of death…………..”

  10. @ Bush Tea | August 1, 2013 at 2:58 PM |

    I should have dropped an “O” and said your god’s people. But would that have exclude dyou Bushie from being even one of the 144,000 grains of salt in the righteous jar. LOL!!

    BTW, even the son of Baphomet (the Miller’s dad) can quote scriptures better than the con artist St. Augustine, first ponzi schemer to sell properties in Heaven the eternal city of God, and the person whose hands were guided by the same Saytan in fooling millions through the age of the fisherman.

  11. I’ve often wondered about the high incidence of HBP among people of African descent in the Caribbean and in the USA and then I came across the attached titled “Racial Differences in Life expectancy” which concludes that slaves with high levels of salt in their blood had a better chance of surviving the Atlantic crossing.

    There is even an illustration of a ‘slaver’ licking the face of a captive waiting to be transported to ascertain the level of salt coming from his pores, if he was “salty” enough then his value is higher as he stood a good chance of surviving the Middle Passage.

    Of course there is always an opposing view and both are attached here.

  12. @ Sargeant | August 1, 2013 at 10:08 PM |

    There is some validity in your cautious and skeptically healthy observation.
    Many blacks are considered to have elevated BP readings because they are being ‘measured and evaluated’ against a yardstick considered by people of European descent to be the “norm” or ideal.
    People of West African origin tend carry a higher BP reading than generally Europeans “evolving” in much colder or cooler climatic conditions.
    Blacks tend to be a blood driven (sanguineous) people whereas more cold blooded Europeans tend to be more phlegmatic and “emotionally restrained” in temperament. That is why you can always tell when people of European descent are emotionally charged up as blushing occurs.

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