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Is salt dangerous? Certain organizations – such as those issuing official dietary guidelines – have warned for a long time against salt and recommended a reduced intake. But as often when it comes to nutrition, the science is far from settled.
A recent review of all good studies in this area shows that the amount of salt that most people consume is associated with good health. Both an extremely high salt consumption and a low consumption seem to be worse.
- American Journal of Hypertension: Compared With Usual Sodium Intake, Low- and Excessive-Sodium Diets Are Associated With Increased Mortality: A Meta-Analysis
The review can be added to several similar reviews in recent years, that question the dead-certain warnings against salt. Neither too much, nor too little, seems to be best.
You can actually get too little salt. This causes fatigue, dizziness and difficulty concentrating. You lose focus. And maybe you don’t just feel worse from salt deficiency, perhaps it’s also really bad for your health.
Avoid high doses of salt from junk food, cheap processed foods, soda and bread. Extreme amounts of salt are hardly good for you, and there are more reasons to avoid such foods. But if you eat real food, you can probably put as much salt on your food as you like.
If you have symptoms of salt deficiency, try taking half a teaspoon of salt, dissolved in water. If you quickly feel better, you were probably salt deficient. Continue Reading →
Is salt a white poison, like sugar and flour? Or is it essential and something a lot of people are deficient in? Could you feel better by including more salt in your diet?
The role of salt is often discussed, and warnings against salt usually win big headlines.
But the science is not nearly as clear as some believe or pretend.
Do you want to know the darkest secrets of the food industry? Read the great new book Salt Sugar Fat, like I’m doing right now.
The author, Pulitzer prize-winner Michael Moss, was just on the Daily Show. Watch it above.
A short comment on the book: While it’s mostly great it’s also partly stuck in the failed dogma of yesterday. Natural saturated fat is still a villain. The main solution? FRUITANDVEGETABLES. Yawn. But if you ignore that the book is absolutely fascinating. Mostly for the insights we get into the minds of the people running the processed food industry.
Highly recommended: Salt Sugar Fat – How the Food Giants Hooked Us.
Here’s a great new article on how junk food is engineered to be addictive:
It’s perhaps nothing really new and the journalist is still stuck in old-fashioned failed ideas (sugar, salt and fat are equally bad). But the article gives great insights into the minds of the men running the junk food industry. Like this quote:
People could point to these things and say, ‘They’ve got too much sugar, they’ve got too much salt,’ ” Bible said. “Well, that’s what the consumer wants, and we’re not putting a gun to their head to eat it. That’s what they want. If we give them less, they’ll buy less, and the competitor will get our market. So you’re sort of trapped.”
You see the problem? Any junk food company trying to focus on healthy food (instead of focusing on making the junk food ever more addictive) risks being quickly eliminated. Any executive trying to do what’s right (and make less money) will likely be fired.
So what happens if the industry is left unregulated? It turns into a rapid evolution towards ever more addictive and ever less healthy junk food. It’s what’s been happening for a long time.
Here’s how a former Coca Cola executive was secretly thinking about expanding his market and making more money:
Dunn said. “How many drinkers do I have? And how many drinks do they drink? If you lost one of those heavy users, if somebody just decided to stop drinking Coke, how many drinkers would you have to get, at low velocity, to make up for that heavy user? The answer is a lot. It’s more efficient to get my existing users to drink more.”
I imagine that’s not too different from how any drug dealer thinks.
Conventional wisdom says you need to eat lots of carbs to exercise. As you probably know that’s not true. But how low carb can you go — and are there even benefits to performance from eating extremely low carb?
Peter Attia is a medical doctor and an endurance athlete. He’s learned from the world’s biggest experts on keto-adaptation (such as dr Stephen Phinney) and in the last few years he has relentlessly self-experimented.
Here dr Attia shares his insights on very low carb (ketogenic) diets and physical and mental performance.
Peter Attia’s blog: The Eating Academy (highly recommended)
We’ve all heard that salt is supposed to be bad for us. But is there any proof of that? A new review of all the best science shows that there is not. There is no evidence that reducing the amount of salt you eat will reduce your risk of either heart disease or premature death.
This does not mean that unlimited amounts of salt is necessarily safe. Eating a moderate amount is probably best. At least try to avoid the salt in fast food, processed, packaged food and soda. Even if the salt doesn’t matter much it means you’ll avoid other unhealthy things.
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