It’s interesting to me that the so-called health “experts” continue to demonize salt–and even eggs for that matter. Yet they continue to give sugar a pass.
At the World Congress of Cardiology in April, a leading cardiologist (from Harvard Medical School no less) reported that if food manufacturers reduced salt content in their products by 10% and taxed foods with high salt content, it might be possible to reduce cardiovascular deaths in developing countries by as much as 3%.
Wow! I have so many things to say about just that one sentence, I can’t type fast enough.
Let me start by saying that cardiologists think they can save every life on the planet. They also feel if every human being took a statin, a beta blocker, and an aspirin every day we’d all live forever. Newsflash, guys: The heart is important, but it’s not the be-all, end-all of good health and longevity.
But back to the message at hand…
Instead of focusing on salt content, why don’t they call for the elimination of processed foods completely? I don’t eat processed foods. Period. End of story. And guess what? I have managed to survive and actually thrive.
And as for the salt issue, let me just set the record straight once and for all…
Less than 5% of the population is salt sensitive. Yet, there is always a HUGE brouhaha about eliminating it from our diets. Do you know how many people are sugar sensitive?
Humans have been salting foods for millennia! Do you know what they haven’t been doing for millennia? That’s right. Stuffing their faces with sugar. That started about 100 years ago–and has reached epidemic proportions only very recently.
Here’s another fun fact. The U.S. government subsidizes sugar–but not salt. Which means that the salt industry has fewer friends in high places.
I would love to live in a world where sugary things were taxed by 40%. Similar to the tax imposed on tobacco in many countries. I wonder how many lives would be saved each year. How much less money we would be spending in health care costs.
Hypertension in the United States accounts for 10% of all health care spending, or roughly $450 million. And don’t forget that salt only contributes to hypertension in a small fraction of cases. But sugar contributes to EVERY case of diabetes. And that costs us $135 billion. Now, let’s add up the other things increased consumption of sugar leads directly to–hypertension, heart disease, stroke, (just to mention the cardiac implications). Ok, now let me throw in one more–cancer.
Now which one would you say causes more deaths and costs more money, salt or sugar? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the answer to that one.
So, before I can stand behind a tax on salt, I think it’s time to face the real issue that affects us all– sugar.