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Low salt diets are highly controversial in real food circles, and have been proven again and again to be harmful to overall health, and deadly in many instances. Modern medicine still clings to it though, because it is easier to recommend a low salt diet than to address the actual issues.
The issue is sort of irrelevant anyway, since the human body simply flushes excess salt, and hypernatremia (high blood salt) really doesn't happen except in cases of dehydration. So why anyone ever thought that salt was the issue is beyond me!
People now feel guilty for every bit of salt they add to their food, and this is just plain NUTS! If you cook from scratch, you HAVE to add salt to your food. If you do not, you end up with too little salt, which is more dangerous than too much. Hyponatremia is no joking matter
No need to feel guilty - your body will crave salt when you need it, but not when you do not. You can trust your taste buds to know when you need it and when you do not. It is pretty much impossible to over-consume salt, because you just can't get it down!
Low salt is recommended for high blood pressure and certain types of heart disease, but high blood pressure is not affected by salt intake in all forms of high blood pressure related disease, and where it is, the effect tends to be temporary. What is clear is that a diet with severely restricted salt, over time, is more harmful than the high blood pressure.
Low salt has been linked to higher cholesterol and higher triglicerides.
Refined salt, and high salt processed foods may affect blood pressure - but it is often things OTHER than the salt that are to blame.
Sea salt is recommended over refined salt, and it may be an excellent option for people who are afraid of salt. The thing is, the minerals in sea salt help you to feel satisfied with a lower amount of salt. You pretty much CANNOT eat too much salt without it gagging you - your body will simply turn away from it. If you CRAVE it, you NEED it. But you feel satisfied FASTER with sea salt because it has more additional minerals in it that help you USE the salt more easily. This means, with sea salt, you can SALT TO TASTE, and you will get the amount your body NEEDS, and you don't have to worry about overdoing it.
We've been taught to believe that our taste buds may not be trusted, that they'll just make us fat and unhealthy, but that isn't true. When you feed your body fresh foods as much as you can, and make foods from scratch, you'll find that things balance out - but you will STILL crave a bag of potato chips, or a greasy cheeseburger sometimes, just not all that often. When my body is in balance, I go weeks without craving chocolate (that is a completely astonishing thing, believe me!).
I get asked a lot about salt amounts in pickled foods, because I sell a lacto-fermentation product (http://fermentacap.com), and I've researched this for that reason. High salt foods are self-limiting. You won't crave them unless you need them, and the flavors are so strong that you will stop eating them before they become harmful.
Low salt diets are the same as so many other trendy food patterns... They are recommended based on myth.
Testing that showed benefits from a low salt diet were skewed. This is how it goes:
Group of people with specific health problem are selected from a pool of people who largely eat refined foods.
Low salt diet is recommended - now at this time in history there are ABSOLUTELY NO "low salt" convenience foods. NONE. No refined foods that are low in salt either.
In an effort to meet the diet requirements, the participants increase their intake of foods prepared at home from scratch, and increase their intake of fresh foods.
ASTONISHMENT!!! The low salt diet has proven effective in reducing risks of heart disease! Wow! Who knew?
Food manufacturers RUSH to produce low salt versions of all the refined and convenience foods available.
All the participants gain weight, decline in health, and go back to their previous state, and then decline more rapidly. But no matter, the study is over, and nobody is watching.
Subsequent studies FAIL to produce the same results.
Because it NEVER WAS THE SALT. It always was the FOOD QUALITY.
Many subsequent studies have shown that salt is NECESSARY to heart health, and that a low salt diet is not only not helpful, but actually harmful to heart health. They consistently show that a diet containing high amounts of FOOD, instead of food like substances, promotes health in every respect, and that the body is fully capable of regulating salt levels, craving it when it is low, and flushing excess.
The information on this site is presented for informational purposes only, and consists of the opinions and experiences of the site authors. It is not to be construed as medical advice or to be used to diagnose or treat any illness. Seek the assistance of a medical professional in implementing any nutritional changes with the goal of treating any medical condition. The historical and nutritional information presented here can be verified by a simple web search.
I do what I do because I understand the science behind it, and I've researched worldwide sources to verify the safety of my practices to my own satisfaction. Please do your own research, and proceed AT YOUR OWN RISK.