Salt Might Not Be the Bad Guy After All

Staff Writer
Years of scientific research find no evidence that salt has a negative dietary effect
Wikimedia/Dubravko Soric

Decades of research have not found sufficient evidence to blame salt for hypertension and other cardiovascular disesases.

For years, salt has been blamed for the cause for health issues like hypertension, which leads to many cardiovascular problems, like heart attacks and strokes. Therefore, many recommend a low-sodium diet as a way to prevent these deaths from occurring. However, a recent article from Salon noticed the lack of conclusive evidence that pins salt as a reason for these health problems.

While discussions about salt benefits have been in the news since the 1980s, much of the speculation has been questionable. It first began when Senator George McGovern released his book about dietary goals that sparked the assumption that salt led to hypertension. Since then, public policy has gone above and beyond to find evidence that supports the theory that a low-sodium diet is the way to live.

However, salt seems to remain important for one’s diet, because the body is 70% salt water. And if many are trying to prove that eliminating salt from their diets will increase their life expectancy, the longest-living and arguably healthiest people on Earth are the Japanese, who eat three times as much salt as Americans.

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Even though it’s hard to believe that leading a salt-free life won’t have any health benefits, Salon’s recent conclusion that there is little scientific evidence to prove salt’s negative effects is intriguing. So the next time you want to shake a little more salt on your food, go for it.