Like I said the other day, the latest crusade against salt is a sticky wicket if there ever was one. Mainly because the FDA and other so-called “experts” are once again sure they’re right…despite a considerable amount of evidence to the contrary.
Evidence that includes a brand new study, exposing the exact risks I warned about yesterday.
This recent pooled analysis featured 130,000 subjects, from 49 different countries, with an average age of 55. And though the FDA may not want to hear it, results suggest — yet again — that low sodium intake could prove lethal.
In this case, consumption below 3,000 mg daily qualified as low. And intakes at this level were linked with a higher risk of both cardiovascular events and death — regardless of whether the patient had high blood pressure.
At this point, I’ll remind you that the new guidelines I outlined yesterday call for lowering salt intake to 2,300 mg per day. Frightening indeed.
Meanwhile, high intakes — in this case, more than 6,000 mg of sodium daily — only raised heart risk in subjects that already had high blood pressure.
And the fact is, salt only contributes to hypertension in a small fraction of cases. (A mere 10 percent of the population of the US.) So to make a blanket recommendation that the entire population should consume less salt is just plain ridiculous.
Common sense would tell you that we need to identify the individuals who have both risk factors — hypertension and high sodium intake — and get them to dial their salt use back to moderate levels.
But clearly, the FDA doesn’t deal in common sense. And since they refuse to do anything about sugar, they decided to go gangbusters on salt. (Likely because this particular target has fewer friends in high places.)
And the AHA isn’t backing down either. According to AHA president Dr. Mark Creager, acknowledging this study and revisiting their sodium recommendations “may reverse the progress that has occurred in modifying dietary sodium intake and reducing the risk of high blood pressure and its effect on heart disease and stroke.” Again, despite the fact that this risk has been thoroughly disproven — over and over again.
In fact, the AHA is even more militant about salt than the clowns at the FDA. They think that the ideal salt intake is 1,500 mg per day.
Of course, let’s not forget that the AHA is a huge proponent of statin medications. So this organization’s main M.O. is deadly advice.
But in this case, the ignorance is staggering. Especially given the fact that this is not the first study to show a U-shaped link between sodium intake and heart risk.
In plain terms, this means that neither too much nor too little salt are good for you. Instead, there is a “sweet spot” that falls somewhere in between where you get the most benefit. (Yes, benefit. From salt. Like I said yesterday, despite what the “experts” want you to believe, your body NEEDS salt.)
It’s not as simple as lower salt = lower blood pressure. The body is a lot more complex than that.
But don’t expect the critics to eat crow and admit their mistake anytime soon. After all, we’ve seen this before with the war on fat…and cholesterol…and red meat.
The list of bad advice is endless. And sadly, the list of its victims looks like it’s about to get a whole lot longer.
In the meantime, if you want real, science-backed advice for keeping your heart healthy, check out my special report The World’s Easiest Heart Disease Cure.