Skip to comments.People eat too much salt but surprising report questions if eating too little could be harmful
Posted on 05/14/2013 5:39:09 PM PDT by neverdem
A surprising new report questions public health efforts to get Americans to sharply cut back on salt, saying its not clear whether eating super-low levels is worth the struggle...
Were not saying we shouldnt be lowering excessive salt intake, said Dr. Brian Strom of the University of Pennsylvania, who led the IOM committee. But below 2,300 mg a day, there is simply a lack of data that shows it is beneficial.
The average American consumes more than 3,400 mg of sodium a day, equivalent to 1 ½ teaspoons. Current U.S. dietary guidelines say most people should limit that to 2,300 mg a day, while certain people those older than 50, African-Americans, and people with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease should aim for just 1,500 mg...
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Sodium (Na) is one of the necessary, essential electrolytes and should be balanced with magnesium and potassium.
Also, a rarely mentioned reason for table salt intake in the U.S. is that it's one of the few food additives that is [optionally] supplemented with iodine (check the label for "contains iodine" or "provides iodine" wording), which is a necessary nutrient, usually in the form of potassium iodide (KI).
Not all commercial table salt is iodized, so it's important to read the label. Some, but not all, sea salts have the traces of iodine and other minerals.
A rich source of iodine is seaweed, but few people in the U.S. consume it, though it's popular among Asians, particularly of Japanese ancestry.
Info on halogens, history and reasons for higher rates of iodine deficiency (take some suggestions with a pinch of salt) :
Iodine is vital for good health - Dr. James Howenstine, 2005 November 05
How important is Iodine for our health? - 2010 September 12
My understanding is that salt intake should be about half of potassium intake. Potatoes, peas and broccoli are good sources of potassium so that should negate any "harmful" effects of the salt.
Black Beans are rich in potassium so I cook several dishes using them. I also buy low sodium V8 juice. It tastes horrible(in my opinion) so I add a quarter to half teaspoon of cayenne pepper to eight oz glass. Nice, spicy drink and healthy. Research cayenne pepper sometime, it's a good addition to a healthy diet.
Thanks for the links.