Welcome to another edition of the Doctor’s Note, where we talk about what’s on our minds when it comes to your health.
This week we’re going to talk about something that has piqued my interest a lot lately, which is salt.
I’ve recently been reviewing some literature on studies about salt and how it got linked to high blood pressure. We went over this some last year.
We’ve been misled about salt.
It turns out that the little white crystal that’s a demon is not salt at all. It’s sugar! You want to stay away from sugar as much as you can. Salt is something that you actually need a lot of.
It started when the government told everyone to decrease their salt intake based on faulty studies with genetically engineered mice back in the 50’s. It was reinforced in the 70’s.
Because of these studies we began restricting salt in diets.
Back when I worked in the hospitals, we would restrict patients to 2-4 grams of salt per day if they had any kind of heart disease or heart failure. This is a severe restriction.
It turns out these studies were bogus. It’s true that a minority of people are salt sensitive with their blood pressure. But even then, as much as a 60% decrease in salt intake results in just 2 millimeters of mercury reduction in blood pressure which is negligible.
The Importance of Salt
Salt has always been one of those things that was a prized possession. Countries fought wars over salt.
If someone says “Salt of the Earth”, that is meant to be a positive thing about someone.
Salt was a valued commodity back in the old days.
Salt is a very valuable mineral. It’s the most important electrolyte and mineral that we have. When I’m on the football field with our local high school team and a player cramps, their salt levels have gotten too low. You sweat out your salt.
When you cramp it’s not your potassium levels, it’s your sodium levels.
You need salt because it maintains your blood volume so you can perfuse it to all your organs.
It’s fair to say that the less salt you eat, the worse your health will be.
Go with Sea Salt
Like with anything, you need to play around with it. I’m not a big fan of table salt. But I’m a huge fan of sea salt.
Some sea salts are mislabeled. I like Redmond Sea Salt. It’s probably the purest organic sea salt there is. In this sea salt they don’t take out any of the iodine. Some sea salts have iodide in it, when what you need is iodine.
We’ve been misled with salt. Salt is the most important mineral for you to consume.
For most people the more salt you eat, the less your blood pressure is. You’re trying to keep your blood pressure low, not high.
In countries that tend to live the longest and healthiest lives, they generally have the highest salt intake. Countries like Japan, France, and South Korea.
Remember this: Which bad crystal is it?
Sugar is the bad one. Salt is the good one.
A lot of times things are the exact opposite of what we have been taught. Remember what you were taught about fat?
We need more good fats, and we probably need more salt.
Look at salt in a different light.