Sherry A. Phillips

Suspense Author

Is Salt Really That Bad For You?

Anyone who knows me, knows my love of salt!

Given the choice between a burger and a decadently sweet dessert, I will choose the burger every time! Potato salad or ice cream? Potato salad! Chocolate Kiss or olives? The olives win hands down!

However, there is a history of heart disease on my father’s side of the family, so now that I’m older, I’m vegetarian most days and increasingly, a vegan. But I still want don’t want to give up my salt!

Now there’s a report that says I may not have to! From CNN:

Reducing salt consumption below the currently recommended 2,300 milligrams – about 1 1/2 teaspoons– per day maybe unnecessary, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

The news follows a decades-long push to get Americans to reduce the amount of salt in their diet because of strong links between high sodium consumption and hypertension, a known risk factor for heart disease.

The IOM, at the request of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reviewed recent studies published through 2012 that explored ties between salt consumption and direct health outcomes like cardiovascular disease and death. The organization describes itself as “an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public.”

Researchers determined there wasn’t enough evidence to say whether lowering salt consumption to levels between 1,500 and 2,300 mg per day could increase or decrease your risk of heart disease and mortality. But lowering sodium intake might adversely affect your health, the panel found.

“These new studies support previous findings that reducing sodium from very high intake levels to moderate levels improves health,” said committee chair Brian Strom, the George S. Pepper professor of public health and preventive medicine at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. “But they also suggest that lowering sodium intake too much may actually increase a person’s risk of some health problems.”

Those problems, he said, could include heart attack or death.

Wow! I don’t use as much salt as I did when I was in my 20’s, but I still use it. Maybe salt is like most other things. Too much or too little can be harmful, but in moderation, it’s a good thing!

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