No one likes to say, “I told you so”. Well, maybe sometimes we do.
I have been prescribing and recommending unrefined salt to my patients for nearly 20 years. My analysis of thousands of blood tests continue to show that most patients are salt deficient. Yes, you read that correctly—patients generally need more salt in their diet!
How can that be? We have all been brainwashed that salt is bad for us—that it causes hypertension, strokes and heart attacks. In fact, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) releases ridiculous yearly edicts about how we need to limit our salt intake. The IOM states that the adequate intake level of salt is 1,200-1,500mg/day (less than ½ teaspoon) and the tolerable upper limit of salt at 2,300mg/day (about 2/3 of a teaspoon of salt). The message from the IOM and the other Powers-That-Be is that a lower salt intake is always better.
How wrong can they be.
Salt is the second most common constituent in the body, next to water. We cannot live without adequate amounts of salt in the diet. A study published April 2, 2014 (1) found that current IOM salt guidelines are too low. In fact, the researchers reported that following the IOM guidelines results in an increased risk of death. In fact, there was a 14% decline in all-cause mortality in the population consuming the average U.S. salt intake versus those consuming the IOM’s salt intake recommendations.
Can you take too much salt? Of course you can. This study found that salt ingestion above 12,000mg (about 3.5tsp was associated with increased mortality from heart disease.
Remember, this study focused on refined salt. Refined salt does provide essential elements for the body—sodium and chloride—but lacks minerals. Refined salt is also contaminated with toxic additives such as ferrocyanide and aluminum.