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Is salt really bad for your health?

by , 15 July 2013

You probably know that you're supposed to avoid salt like the plague! It's what you're been told and it's what you've accepted as fact, no questions asked. But, it now turns out salt isn't as bad you've been made to believe! In fact, not enough salt could be completely detrimental to your health, especially for seniors…

Your doctor isn’t trying to kill you. He just can’t help himself, says Jenny Thompson of the Health Sciences Institute.

“Long before he ever went to medical school everyone gave him the same health advice. They knew this was good advice because they’d heard it themselves all their lives and you have too: Avoid salt because sodium is bad for you. But the truth is sodium is not all bad for you,” says Thompson.

In fact, if you follow your doctor’s advice and cut your sodium intake to deficiency levels, you’re more likely to harm your health. And the older you are, the greater the harm.

Health myth busted: Salt is good for your health

In the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Belgium researchers examined eight years of data that compared sodium excretion and cardiovascular deaths (CVD) among more than 3,600 subjects without heart disease.

Their results: “Lower sodium excretion was associated with higher CVD mortality.”

Put simply, you body needs sodium to survive.

Researchers also added that “our current findings don’t support the current recommendations of a generalised and indiscriminate reduction of salt intake at the population level.”

“For me, the word that jumps out there is ‘indiscriminate’, because it IS indiscriminate of doctors to give their patients a one-size-fits-all recommendation to lower salt intake,” says Thompson.

This recommendation hits seniors the hardest. Fearing high blood pressure linked with heart disease linked with early death, they often go to extremes to remove salt from their diets. The common result (symptoms of low blood levels of sodium) is the exact opposite of what they were trying to accomplish.

And unfortunately, “those symptoms are often dismissed because they just happen to be conditions that everyone associates with ageing: Fatigue, confusion and poor balance,” says Thompson.

There you have it. A study that refutes the age-old recommendation to lower salt intake.

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