The Danger of Low-Salt Diets
Theory or no theory, the FDA’s recent move to limit salt in American diets to newer, lower levels would not have to be a conspiracy. The power of popular misconception is potent enough to trigger foolish regulatory moves without anything deliberately sinister lurking behind the curtain. And it’s true enough, according to numerous studies, that reducing salt in one’s diet does reduce the likelihood of strokes in certain people.
Those who put down salt as a valuable nutrient are still off base. Way off base. There’s a reason that ranchers put out 50# iodized salt blocks for range cattle to lick during every month of the year. There’s a reason that when our U.S. Army unit drilled under desert heat conditions, we were actually issued (wait for it) salt tablets.
Without salt, we’re dead.
Put that in your shaker and shake it.
The conspiracy advocates believe the Forces of Evil actually wish to weaken our nation by weakening both our minds and bodies, thus making it easier for “Them” to take over and rule us as a nation of slaves with ye olde iron fist. While a great “hook” for a science fiction novel, later to be made into a blockbuster movie, the correct answer may be simplicity itself, i.e.,
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
After all, be it conspiracy or be it ignorance, the bottom line is the same: Taking salt from your diets is an effective way to go from muscle bound superhero to 98-pound weakling getting sand kicked in his face…in one swell foop.
It’s commonplace to find stories in the mainstream media about the dangers of overdosing on sodium chloride…but few indeed are the articles warning about the dangers of salt deficiency. Even on the somewhat more balanced Internet (where anyone with an opinion has a shot at being heard), the imbalance is still considerable. To be sure of that, I just Googled both terms and found the following:
Google search term “salt overdose” yielded 2,120,000 results.
Google search term “salt deficiency” yielded 280,000 results.
Which only indicates the greater popular discussion of “too much” rather than “too little” sodium (and let’s not forget the chloride aspect) in one’s daily food supply. One of the more intriguing online articles discussing the need for both (sodium and chloride) in the animal body is a piece by Dr. Robert Young which states in part,
Salt is the life of the body! And, without liberal
amounts of whole unprocessed salt the body cannot
keep up with the daily onslaught of dietary and
This is why I suggest eating lots of salt and getting
off acidic foods and drinks. When you do this, your
health, energy, happiness and fitness will naturally
improve – without medications!
Note that Dr. Young specifies whole unprocessed salt. How that differs from most of the sodium chloride we encounter at our favorite fast food joint–and what he’s getting at with the mention of acidic foods and drinks–are topics for other days, maybe even other conspiracy theories.
However, a few personal observations regarding table salt do fit right in here:
1. My body’s sodium levels, at least as measured by a CBC (Complete Blood Count) done a few years back when my wife and my RN kid sister were both nagging me (that was a conspiracy!), tend to be “borderline”–i.e., slightly above or slightly below the maximum “permissible” amount as touted by the AMA.
2. I had a heart attack at 6 years of age and had my poisonous, mercury-laden teeth removed at age 49. Oh, yeah, and a hernia repair at age 62. Except for a sports and/or work injury here and there along the way, that’s about it. Now about to turn 70, my health is excellent. In a pinch (!), I can still outwork any pair of 20-year-old guys you’d care to throw at me. That’s not just theory, either; I’ve done it. Recently.
3. Salt? I inlude some of that with just about everything I ingest except for ice cream.
So…what’re you really saying here, Ghost?
Simply this: Open letter to the FDA, the current Presidential administration, and anyone else within hearing distance:
“Halt! Get your mitts off my salt!!”
Or words to that effect.