Who’s Right in the Salt Debate?

While most people have heard too much dietary salt is unhealthy, doctors and medical researchers are actually split on just how unhealthy it might be. Some even disagree that it’s nearly the problem most of us are being told it is. While there are medical professionals who stridently reject the demonization of salt, other healthcare workers and scientists consider that a position that could put millions at risk by encouraging them to not mind their salt consumption.

The current medical recommendations for salt intake is to reduce it by half compared to the typical intake amount. The human body needs salt, definitely, and this is part of the problem. Evolution shaped us to retain this necessary mineral against periods when we might not be getting enough. Now that salt is abundant, too abundant some say, most of us are getting quite a lot of it. Cultures where salt consumption has not risen to the dangerous levels in most modern diets do not have the cardiovascular problems, such as high blood pressure, that are so worrying to the anti-salt advocates.

Much of the advice to not worry about salt consumption appears to be coming from sources connected to the salt industry, and also the pharmaceutical sector. Treating salt related medical conditions is big business.

Key Points:

  • 1The majority of those who claim thst high intake of salt is not harmful are industry professionals or people with a financial interest in espousing this belief.
  • 2Most professionals agree that too much dietary sodium is harmful and that hypertension can be controlled by reducing dietary salt intake.
  • 3The debate over the danger of high sodium intake is unbalanced. Health professionals almost unanimously agree that too much sodium is unhealthy.

For decades, a sometimes furious battle has raged among scientists over the extent to which elevated salt consumption contributes to death, with one camp calling it a “public health hazard that requires vigorous attack” and another claiming the risks of dietary salt excess are exaggerated, even to the point of calling sodium reduction “the largest delusion in the history of preventive medicine.”

See the original at: https://nutritionfacts.org/2018/01/18/whos-right-in-the-salt-debate/

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