Study: No Need to Dramatically Cut Salt

Consuming ultra-low levels may actually do more harm than good
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2013 6:04 PM CDT

(Newser) – Go easy on the salt, but not too easy. That's the surprising finding of a new study from the prestigious Institute of Medicine, reports the New York Times. The report concluded that people who follow the advice of groups such as the American Heart Association and limit intake to 1,500 milligrams a day, or about half a teaspoon, may actually be doing more harm than good. Current US dietary guidelines say most people should cut it off at 2,300mg a day, and the IOM researchers found no benefits in going below that threshold.

"We're not saying we shouldn't be lowering excessive salt intake," says the University of Pennsylvania doctor who led the panel. It's just that below the 2,300mg mark, "there is simply a lack of data that shows it is beneficial." Before unholstering the salt shaker, know that the study reaffirmed that most Americans consume an unhealthy amount of sodium—about 3,400mg a day—and it urged them to cut down, reports AP. The heart association, meanwhile, rejects the report's conclusion and is sticking by its recommendation of 1,500mg.

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