“Notable & Quotable: Salt Crystallized,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/7/2016.
I love salt, but that does not make me a bad person. About twenty years ago I read a report that salt does not raise blood pressure in about 20% of the population. I was clearly in that lucky 20%, so my general eating philosophy has been that if I can’t see the salt, there isn’t enough there. But that is just me, not for you other 80%.
This WSJ column quotes from a Scientific American article of July 8, 2011, “It’s Time to End the War on Salt,” by Melinda W. Moyer, that supports my view:
If the U.S. does conquer salt, what will we gain? Bland French fries, for sure. But a healthy nation? Not necessarily.
This week a meta-analysis of seven studies involving a total of 6,250 subjects in the Journal of Hypertension found no strong evidence that cutting salt intake reduces the risk for heart attacks, strokes, or death in people with normal or high blood pressure. . . . These findings call into question the common wisdom that excess salt is bad for you, but the evidence linking salt to heart disease has always been tenuous.
She also quotes a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association from the previous May (2011) that found that the less salt consumed, the higher the risk of dying of heart disease. I’m just saying, don’t assume cutting back on salt will bring all sorts of health benefits. On the other hand, lots of salt is an acquired taste, and people who cut back soon adjust to less.
Decide for yourself what to do, but be aware the recommendations are not certain. You can do as I do and cherry-pick whatever data supports your preconceived view. I have already lived longer than the average American male, so maybe I am doing something right. I kid you not.