How much salt to eat

June 24, 2018

 

Experts argue about how much salt we need, and how much salt we tolerate. Salt intake recommendations haven't been refined enough by the medical profession to give guidance to individual groups: females verses men, young verses old. Perhaps 2300 mg daily is ok, but perhaps we should only be getting 1500 per day, according to Dr. Thomas Farley who heads public health for the city of New York. We see this reflected in the blood pressure of healthy individuals, which is in general much higher than the blood pressures of indigenous peoples prior to modern diets.

 

 

Generally diets that are high in fruits and vegetables and non-fat dairy products are associated with the least heart disease and thus the best blood pressure; regardless of salt intake, but most of us don't salt fruit! However some foods and nutrients will actually lower blood pressure The DASH trial looked at various nutritional strategies besides just the lowering of sodium and the increasing of potassium, and in this study calcium in the diet was shown to lower blood pressure. This means that the addition of calcium supplements can lower blood pressure.

 

he new research on hypertension makes it very difficult for physicians to give dietary salt advice! The Oxford Journals have added a freely available section devoted to the publication of their literature on salt intake so that researchers and the public can follow these developments. Uptodate.com points out that essential hypertension is not known in indigenous populations who keep their salt intake reasonable,half of what we consume. They keep their diet tight, under 1.2 g of sodium a day, and if you need a boost to figure out what's in what, if you just worked out and are downing a Gatorade....that would be 80 (of your 1200 today). Cutting back on salt works to lower blood pressure if you are fat, if you are thin, if you are young, if you are old, if you already have normal BP or if you have hypertension. Ugh! How to spice up your diet, common kids, you can help me out here, it's time to do the January new years work outs and, feast on the winter stews with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, yum, it's got me humming already, and there's no salt in that list. And for more advanced understanding of risks, you need to calculate your Framingham Risk Score, then get in to get your blood lipid levels as well, and then to discuss with your Gyno Gal, or whomever is doing your primary care, because in matters of the Heart...risk reduction is where it's at!

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