Sun, 06 Aug 2006

Americans should shake salty food habit

I'm calling Bullshit!

And I'm not alone ... Stossel's report highlights the many studies showing absolutely no correlation between salt intake and high blood pressure or heart disease. And I must regale you with a personal tale at this point - because I have a bit of a dog in this fight.

I say a bit of a dog because, while I have no economic interest in salt whatsoever, I was a participant in a salt study. It was conducted in 1982, at IU Hospital in Indianapolis. And it was pretty comprehensive.

Our salt "input/output" was measured for three weeks, while the hospital varied the amount of sale in our diets. The measured the salt in our blood, and we carried plastic liter bottles which we used for urination 24 hours a day. Every meal was taken at the hospital. I was selected because I have "naturally" high blood pressure, others in the study had naturally low and normal blood pressures. There were over a thousand participants, if I recall correctly, of all races and from all walks of life.

The food was miserable, too. The first week was a no salt diet. Miserable doesn't describe this. The second week was a "normal" salt diet, and was by far the best of the bunch. The third week had so much salt in the diet that they gave us glasses of veggie juice to help wash it down. I was peeing over nine liters a day that week, and had to carry the bottles in buckets.

A year later the results were released - unfortunately they're not on the web - but they showed no relationship whatsoever between blood pressure (which we had measured before and after every meal) and salt intake.

In fact, the Salt Institute, who admittedly do have a real dog in this fight, have a link page on their site with eight studies showing no relationship between salt and hypertension.

I'm not a big fan of iodized, industrial salt: I think it lacks many of the trace minerals that are most easily delivered in salt, and I eat kosher or sea salt myself, but nonetheless I find the evidence clear and compelling that there is no link between salt and high blood pressure. None at all.

So why do we keep seeing articles like this? Stossel's observation seems most likely:

Scientific communication is very stilted, as if to convey impartiality. Scientists are happy to have non-scientists view them as uniquely unbiased, and reporters fall into the trap of believing them. But supposedly "dispassionate" scientists are as passionate about their ideas as any entrepreneur. They have all sorts of reasons to lose perspective and get carried away with hope and excitement. If they discover something, they may be famous. If they don't, they may have spent years in some windowless laboratory for little good. So if they can convince themselves their theory is right, they are eager for the public to hear about it.

This whole phenomena is the reason I was skeptical on global warming for so long: but I've reviewed the evidence myself, and rather carefully, and now think there's a good deal to the theory. Salt intake, on the other hand, is politically correct "science" run amok. Which is why this article is posted to my "Politics" section - because that's all it is...take it with a grain of salt!

AP - When it comes to seasoning food, there's no shortage of salt options. But when it comes to health, it doesn't matter if it was mined in Kansas, solar-evaporated from the Mediterranean Sea or hand-harvested in French marshes. Salt is salt, the experts say, and it's bad for your health. Chances are you're eating way too much of it.

(link) [Yahoo! News: Top Stories]

/Politics | 7 writebacks | permanent link

On 8/6/2006 17:00:50
Thud wrote

On 8/6/2006 20:05:27
Dave H wrote


On 8/7/2006 00:35:25
sari0009 wrote

On 8/7/2006 06:52:38
Bjorngrímnir wrote

On 8/25/2006 06:42:08
Dick Hanneman wrote

President, Salt Institute

On 9/29/2007 12:25:06
stoney wrote

the death of the poor

On 9/30/2007 15:47:46
stoney wrote

hehehe JOKE


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