Updated: Nov 24
Here is another bullsh.t of worldwide magnitude which the World Heat Organization (WHO) is promoting: the World Salt Awareness Week takes place in early March every year with the campaign slogan: “More Flavor, Less Salt!”. This unsubstantiated campaign aims to implement comprehensive policies across the world aiming to reduce salt consumption. But what exactly should you be aware of? Let's have look, shall we?
First Things First: Refined and Unrefined Salt
Unrefined salt, also known as "sea salt" is the general term for salt produced by evaporation of ocean water, or water from saltwater lakes.
Sea salt retains trace minerals that add flavor and color. It is available as fine grains or crystals.
Refined salt, also known as table salt, is the granulated white salt typically mined from underground deposits. It's processed to remove other minerals while being commonly fortified with iodine.
Refined salt is made up of sodium and chloride. With 2.4g of sodium in 6g salt, sodium makes up approximately 40% of salt. Typically "sodium" is listed on food labels rather than salt.
Sea salt and table salt contain comparable amounts of sodium by weight.
Here are some interesting things about salt:
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans regarding daily recommended salt consumption amounts has absolutely no evidence base!!!
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams a day.
That's roughly how much sodium is in 1 teaspoon of table salt.
But why? We have no idea, and nor do the Dietary Guidelines. The "recommended" daily salt consumption target has absolutely no evidence base. There is not even one single research which has looked into salt in order to come up with this precise target.
the Dietary Guidelines state that we simply eat too much salt which can raise your blood pressure, which puts you at increased risk of health problems such as heart disease and stroke. There is no demonstrable correlation between salt and these claims. Basta!
We need to consume salt (and potassium) or we die!
Salt is an “essential nutrient” nutrition. This means we MUST consume salt regularly.
You ask WHY? The answer is simple: Our body doesn’t make salt. Fortunately salt is in many real foods, even in water, and so ingestion of this vital mineral is not difficult.
Potassium is another essential dietary mineral. Our body doesn’t make potassium.
The potassium/sodium balance is absolutely critical to the overall functioning of every cell in the human body.
Furthermore, the potassium/sodium balance is absolutely critical to the proper firing of neurons across the entire body and the brain.
A potentially fatal condition called Hyponatremia can develop if salt levels fall too low.
Read more here:
Many international charities exist purely to campaign against salt.
Although countless international charities attempt to link "high salt intake" with the prevalence of high blood pressure in communities, a mechanism whereby salt could lead to the development of essential hypertension has NEVER been established. No investigations have been conducted to demonstrate such a relationship.
‘High’ blood pressure is in fact normal! Normal has been redefined as high in order to enable the drug companies to medicate many more people.
The normal concentration of sodium in blood plasma is 136-145mM (mmol/Litre).
Salt provides sodium.
When sodium in the body rises, the body increases fluid levels in order to maintain the concentration of sodium.
If you consume salty food, you will want to drink more water.
The additional fluid is more likely to be retained because the body is back in sodium concentration equilibrium, albeit with more sodium and more water.
Water retention in the human body can raise blood pressure.
However, there are three points to make here:
i) Raised blood pressure is a symptom. It’s not a problem per se. There is no evidence for increase in blood pressure as a direct result of any "defined" level of salt consumption. ii) There is NO direct causation between salt consumption and heart disease regardless of whether or not salt impacts blood pressure. iii) The rise in water retention from consuming a couple of grams of salt is disproportionate to the water retention from of consuming carbohydrates. Here is why: We can store up to 500g of glycogen (1 lb) if we consume carbohydrates that are not used up for energy. We know that each gram of glycogen is accompanied by four grams of water. Hence we can gain 4lb additional pounds of water weight overnight by consuming carbohydrates. This is way more significant in terms of water retention and blood pressure than any impact of a couple of grams of salt – and yet carb consumption is recommended and salt consumption is demonized. Yet another example of our completely incomprehensible dietary advice.
Since 2003 the salt opponents have relied upon a Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) report, called “Salt and Health”. Feel free to read the document. The report claims "salt consumption to be a “major risk factor in the development of cardiovascular disease. So, they want us to think that salt causes heart disease.
There is no evidence that salt causes heart disease; there is evidence that low salt is associated with heart attacks!
A study of approximately 3,000 hypertensive subjects (men with high blood pressure) found that there was a 430% increase in myocardial infarction (heart attack) in the group with the lowest salt intake versus the group with the highest salt intake.
Knowing how vital salt is for human health, this should not be surprising – low-sodium diets have been shown to cause multiple nutrient deficiencies, including nutrients vital for heart health (calcium, magnesium, potassium and B-vitamins).
Who gains by demonizing salt?
Some interesting thoughts:
The motivation behind the anti-fat movement is clear – it gives the ‘food’ industry the green light to make highly lucrative fake low-fat food.
The motivation behind the anti-cholesterol movement is clear – it gives the drug industry the green light to make drugs worth tens of billions of dollars and ‘food’ companies can make spreads and other ‘cholesterol-lowering’ fake foods.
The founders and executives (we call them the CHARLATANS) of the so-called public benefit organizations founded to combat "salt consumption" surely benefit form this, besides the multi-national organizations which support and fund them, such as the such as World Health Organization, and of course the national agencies such as the US National Library of Medicine.
To give a real time example, the founder of Consensus Action on Salt & Health, Professor Graham MacGregor, has personally done well out of founding the organization. MacGregor is chairman of action on salt. MacGregor is also chairman of the Blood Pressure Association. He sits on the board for the World Hypertension League and recently served as President of The British Hypertension Society.
Do we need to say more???
CONCLUDING THOUGHTS: Eat real food and never worry about salt!
Nature puts sodium in real food. Meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, water etc., all contain sodium. These substances also all contain potassium – the balance is taken care of for us. How clever. The most salty foods (seafood) tend to be found in sunnier climes where ...
a) people need more salt to protect against fluids lost in sweat and
b) where potassium rich fruits tend to be found as a counterbalance.
Salt is not going to kill us. Lack of salt will kill us frighteningly quickly.
We should ideally use sea salt rather than table salt – just to get the added minerals and elements – but table salt is not going to harm us either. Processed food contains a lot of added sodium – that’s not what’s going to harm us. The processed food per se is going to do that. The processed food, with its trans fats, sugars, flour, empty calories, lack of nutrition and addictive combinations of manufactured ingredients, is the source of harm – not any sodium contained within.
So just eat real food and don’t worry about salt!
As a final thought – have you heard of the expressions “salt of the earth” or “worth his/her salt”?
We describe someone as the salt of the earth when they are as good and worthy as anyone can be.
The word salary comes from the Latin word salarium and has the root sal or salt.
In ancient Rome, salary meant the amount of money given to a Roman soldier to buy salt, which was an expensive but essential commodity.
This explains the “worth his salt” expression. Our language is telling us the truth, our government is sadly not.