eat salt!

eat salt already! from scientific american:

“It’s Time to End the War on Salt”
“The zealous drive by politicians to limit our salt intake has little basis in science

This week a meta-analysis of seven studies involving a total of 6,250 subjects in the American Journal of Hypertension found no strong evidence that cutting salt intake reduces the risk for heart attacks, strokes or death in people with normal or high blood pressure. In May European researchers publishing in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that the less sodium that study subjects excreted in their urine — an excellent measure of prior consumption — the greater their risk was of dying from heart disease. These findings call into question the common wisdom that excess salt is bad for you, but the evidence linking salt to heart disease has always been tenuous….

“Rather than create drastic salt policies based on conflicting data, Alderman and his colleague Hillel Cohen propose that the government sponsor a large, controlled clinical trial to see what happens to people who follow low-salt diets over time. Appel responds that such a trial ‘cannot and will not be done,’ in part because it would be so expensive. But unless we have clear data, evangelical antisalt campaigns are not just based on shaky science; they are ultimately unfair. ‘A great number of promises are being made to the public with regard to this enormous benefit and lives saved,’ Cohen says. But it is ‘based on wild extrapolations.‘”

previously: wtf medical establishm’t?

(note: comments do not require an email. why, yes, i’ll have salt with that.)


  1. @luke – “Fat is next.”

    i don’t actually eat a lot of meat fat ’cause i’m grossed out by the texture (i’m such a girl!), but if it’s nice and crispy like on bacon then, mmmmmmm! (^_^) i also eat lots o’ butter.


  2. For quite awhile now I’ve been arguing that a high fat diet will turn out to be not only not bad for your health but actually good. Why? For three reasons. First, because it tastes so good; anything that taste’s that good, I intuit, must be good for you. (Fat free foods on the other hand taste blach! Ergo they are probably not good for you.) Second, because for surgical reasons I can’t swallow or chew very well so have to eat a lot of high-fat Skandishakes (TM) to keep up my weight. Since the beginning I’ve never gotten tired of them and during that period my cholesterol surprisingly went down significantly, from around 240 to less than 200. (Even when it was at 240 I refused to take the lipitor my doctor prescribed because it made me feel icky.) And finally because it annoys my wife, Pat. :)

    I should mention that in the last several years articles have started appearing in the popular science press supporting my position. I always bring them to Pat’s attention and try to suppress the gloating smile on my face.


  3. The way I understand it the problem is not sodium but potassium. People who consume very low levels of potassium are more likely to have heart problems. Therefore the important thing to do is to stop worrying about sodium and make sure to eat more foods with potassium.


  4. @luke – “…because for surgical reasons I can’t swallow or chew very well….”

    gee. that sounds pretty awful. sorry to hear that.

    re.: lipitor. yeah, stay away from that stuff! lipitor did terrible things to a relation of mine (basically he wound up with wasted muscles). i would never, ever take lipitor!


  5. @joe – “Therefore the important thing to do is to stop worrying about sodium and make sure to eat more foods with potassium.”

    note to self: eat more bananas! which is okay, ’cause i love bananas. (^_^)


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