Salt has been abhorred by the health food industry for ages — the simple compound sodium chloride, which occurs naturally in many foods, was rumored to be linked to weight gain, extreme thirst, and heightened blood pressure.
Salt-free pretzels made a comeback in grandparents’ pantries and “reduced sodium” quickly began to equate to “healthier” in shopper’s minds. Fast food and restaurant chains were scorned for their tendency to add salt to food to make them taste better, accused for trying to induce American consumers with uncontrollable cravings for salty fries and Chinese noodles.
But as it turns out, those cravings may have another cause. The amount of sodium in the average diet has actually stayed consistent for over 50 years — a conclusion that contradicts popular beliefs that the rise of obesity is in part due to a simultaneous rise in sodium intake. People have been effortlessly self-regulating their sodium — until now, when people are purposefully restricting their intake.
Sodium restriction has caused many Americans — athletes in particular — to experience the unsavory side effects of deficiency, such as hormone disruption and fatigue. Those side effects happen when you bar yourself from experiencing the very real, very vital benefits that salt has to offer.