SaltShaker

I've always been a bit of a skeptic. While I don't typically use the exact words - prove it to me, when every I read/hear or discuss the next thing that will decrease/increase  my lifespan, re-grow hair or magically increase fuel mileage by up to 80% - I instinctively question the message and/or messenger. For good reason. Often they're wrong... or or worse... lying to promote so agenda.

I'm not sure why, but for some reason I don't remember questioning the; too much salt is bad for you, line we've all heard a thousand or more times.

My Grandfather used to love McDonald's and White Castle  hamburgers. "Two hamburgers and a coffee" was his typical order whenever he and I would sneak out for lunch. My Grandmother had a great sense of smell. Without fail, she'd know where we've been for lunch as soon as we walked in the door. She would begin harping on my Grandfather; "all that salt on those hamburgers will wreck havoc on your blood pressure. You know that".

But as it turns out, much about what we've all been told about salt (and it's supposed negative health effects) is unsubstantiated by medical research... surprise!

ICI/PRO contributor Ben Greenfield has an exhaustive article on his BenGreenfieldfitness.com site that does a great job deconstructing the salt is bad myth and could provide answers to questions from members : Is That Grain Of Salt Really Killing Your Insides?

The Facts About Salt

Let”™s begin with the 4 most important things you need to know right now:

1. There is zero evidence to support a drastic reduction in sodium intake.

A recent review of a study by the Institute of Medicine failed to identify a health benefit associated with sodium intakes less than 2,300 mgs/day, and concluded that there is insufficient evidence to determine whether sodium intakes of less than 2,300 mgs are harmful or beneficial.

In other words, there”™s no evidence that a salt reduction will result in a health benefit (nor do we do know the potential consequences of reducing the salt content of food).

2. Reducing sodium intake can have unintended health risks.

But here”™s what we actually do know: recent research highly suggests that low sodium intake can indeed increase health risks. Here are some of the unintended consequences of drastic reduction in sodium intake:

- Insulin resistance (diabetes)
- Metabolic syndrome
- Increased cardiovascular mortality and readmissions
- Cognition loss in neonates and older adults
- Unsteadiness, falls, fractures
- Lifelong appetite cravings for salt

Despite this extreme lack of supporting evidence, here in America the Center for Disease Control and the New York Department of Health appear to remain intensely committed to their efforts to have us all consume less than 2,300mg/day, and for nearly half of us to consume less than 1,500mg/day.

Read the rest at: bengreenfieldfitness.com

The part about Insulin resistance (diabetes) really jumped out at me. My Grandfather developed Adult Onset Diabetes in his late 70's - he lived to 86. So I have as they say a "history" of this in my family = prefer not to get it myself. My lifestyle is nothing like his was; I'm very active vs. his sedentary / inactive life.  My memory is that he was on a regiment to control his blood pressure (more history) most of his life. As elevated pressure was thought to be tied to salt intake, his doctor had prescribed a very low sodium diet. The guy almost never ate sweets, never snacked, overate or ate out at a restaurant. His wife cooked 97% of everything he ever consumed, always very low salt.

So now I'm left thinking; could his very limited salt intake, over a substantial portion of his life, have been a cause of his diabetes?

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