Should We Be Eating MORE Salt?

Reprinted from Dr. David Brownstein’s blog…

salt rocks_small

The American Heart Association (AHA) and the other Powers-That-Be (PTB) have been telling us for years to limit our salt intake to no more than 1,500mg/day—which is about one-half teaspoon of refined salt.  For over 40 years, the AHA and the PTB claimed that if we lower our salt intake we will lower our risk for heart disease, stroke, and hypertension.  However, there have never been any good studies showing any positive outcomes of lowering salt to 1,500mg/day—as long as there is normal kidney function.

I have been using salt as a therapeutic agent for over 20 years.   During this time, I have checked every patient’s electrolyte (salt) levels.  I can assure you, the vast majority of patients need and require salt.  In fact, salt is the second major constituent in the body next to water.  We cannot live without adequate amounts of salt. I have been lecturing and writing about salt for over 10 years.  My book, Salt Your Way to Health was written to educate the reader about the importance of eating the right kind of salt.

What happens when you lower salt to unsustainable—1,500mg/day—levels?  Here’s what happens.  Your risk of heart attacks increases 430%. (1)  Your risk of cardiovascular death increases over 5x as compared to a high-salt intake group. (2) Low-salt diets cause increases in cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and insulin levels.  (3)  Finally, low salt diets cause elevations in hormones—renin and aldosterone—that predispose to hypertension.

So, let’s summarize the effects of a low-salt diet as it predisposes one to significant increases in:

  •          Heart attacks
  •          Mortality
  •          Cholesterol levels
  •          LDL-cholesterol levels
  •          Insulin levels
  •          Hypertension-causing hormones


Why would the PTB recommend that we limit our salt intake to 1,500mg/day?  I can’t understand why as there is no physiological or biochemical explanation for that recommendation.  Also, keep in mind that many studies have shown that limiting your salt intake does not even lower your blood pressure to any significant degree.

What can you do?  Educate yourself.  Take a look at my book and decide for yourself if you need to limit your salt intake.  I am sure you will agree with my recommendations to eat the right kind of salt—unrefined salt–in the right amounts.  How much salt should you eat?  Generally, 1-2 teaspoons of unrefined salt seems sufficient to meet the body’s needs.  Some may need more.  A holistic health care provider knowledgeable about salt can monitor and guide you.


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