Salt, Bad for You? Nope, Never Was
Gary Taubes cracks open flimsy anti-salt science
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2012 7:29 PM CDT
Updated Jun 9, 2012 7:00 PM CDT
Salt: no longer sinful?   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Time to crack open those Sun Chips, folks: Looks like salt is not only good for you, avoiding salt may be bad for you. In a daring New York Times piece, Gary Taubes challenges the standard salt-is-deadly wisdom by rolling out a few studies and quoting a few experts. "This eat-less-salt argument has been surprisingly controversial—and difficult to defend," he writes. "Not because the food industry opposes it, but because the actual evidence to support it has always been so weak."

For 40 years, we've heard how salt raises our blood pressure and causes life-shortening hypertension. Turns out that's just a hypothesis, though, and studies supporting it are remarkably thin. Meanwhile, a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine and research in Italy have found that reducing salt intake can lead to heart disease and premature death. The punchline: Salt intake has remained steady for 50 years, despite the dire warnings. "This consistency ... suggests that how much salt we eat is determined by physiological demands," writes Taubes, "not diet choices." Click for the full article. (Or see why fast food is saltier in the US.)

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Showing 3 of 71 comments
Jun 10, 2012 11:29 PM CDT
I was just diagnosed with osteoporosis and was told to avoid SALT and CAFFEINE - thanks for the nonsense
Jun 10, 2012 6:28 AM CDT
Bravo, Mr. Taubes, for daring to blow up a myth. If we, the public, dutifully followed all the conflicting advice which pours out of the medical community, we'd be in the ER with whiplash every week. Medicos change their minds constantly, and bicker with each other over every detail. Most of their sage advice amounts to rubbish. That old recommendation to "have faith in your doctor" really defines what much of medicine is: Not science, but blind faith. I'll save my religion for church, thank you very much.
Jun 9, 2012 9:15 PM CDT
ALL SALT IS NATURAL, be it sea salt, himalayan pink salt etc etc. salt is salt!