A new study contradicts was nutritionists have been telling us for years:
For years, doctors have been telling us that too much salt is bad for us. Until now. A study claims that cutting down on salt can actually increase the risk of dying from a heart attack or a stroke. The research has left nutritionists scratching their heads.
Its findings indicate that those who eat the least sodium – about one teaspoon a day – don’t show any health advantage over those who eat the most.
ASIDE: I’ll note that this isn’t the first study to report findings such as this.
Personally, I welcome this news, whether it holds up or not. The truth is that different people need different amounts of salt, regardless of the averages say. I’ve known for many years that I happen to be one of the people who needs more salt than most. Unfortunately, the anti-salt campaign has occasionally made it difficult to get it. Anything that hinders the anti-salt campaign is good for me.
POSTSCRIPT: There’s an amusing addendum to attach to this story. The New York Times, in its reporting on this story, shows that media bias is not limited to politics:
Low-Salt Diet Ineffective, Study Finds. Disagreement Abounds.
A new study found that low-salt diets increase the risk of death from heart attacks and strokes and do not prevent high blood pressure, but the research’s limitations mean the debate over the effects of salt in the diet is far from over.
The article continued with four paragraphs telling why no one should believe the study before it deigned to report what the study actually found.
UPDATE: According to Scientific American, the anti-salt campaign has always been on shaky scientific footing. For example:
For every study that suggests that salt is unhealthy, another does not. Part of the problem is that individuals vary in how they respond to salt. “It’s tough to nail these associations,” admits Lawrence Appel, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University and the chair of the salt committee for the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. One oft-cited 1987 study published in the Journal of Chronic Diseases reported that the number of people who experience drops in blood pressure after eating high-salt diets almost equals the number who experience blood pressure spikes; many stay exactly the same.
Indeed. People are trying to cut my salt intake, even though I need more than average. Of course, this is always the problem with one-size-fits-all policy.
(Via Hot Air.)
UPDATE: In light of this article, I’m going to strengthen this post’s title.
UPDATE: I said that the New York Times’s hit piece on the salt study proves that media bias isn’t limited to politics, but on further reflection, I think it’s entirely political. The New York Times is, after all, located in New York, where the mayor has waged a high-profile war on salt (and just about anything else that people enjoy, it would seem). If New Yorkers learn that Bloomberg’s entire war on salt was based on false information, they might wonder what other infringements of their personal liberty are unnecessary and/or counterproductive.