Ask anyone on the street if salt is good for you and they will almost certainly say no. If you then ask them why, many will say that it causes high blood pressure.
Both of these things simply are not true and the current mainstream recommendations to limit salt intake are misguided.
Salt is so important for human health that without it, we would die. Every living organism has evolved very complex and precise systems to regulate salt levels in the body.
Doctors have been recommending lower salt intakes for decades and it has had little to no effect on high blood pressure.
The reason for this is that the main culprit that causes the body to hold water and hence increase blood pressure is NOT salt.
To give you an idea of how powerful a factor carbs are in retaining water, think about this fact:
For every gram of glycogen stored, the body stores around 2.7 g of water.
Salt’s ability to retain water is tiny compared to this so advising people to reduce salt intake to reduce hypertension is like recommending that someone about to be exposed to a nuclear blast should stand in the shade to avoid too much sun exposure. They’ve got bigger things to worry about.
Not only is the advice to reduce salt intake focusing on the wrong area when much larger problems loom, but there are good reasons to NOT have people reduce their salt intake.
For one thing, salt allows people to enjoy their food more, and is one of the few condiments that does not increase carbohydrate intake. Additionally, it has no calories, is very cheap and actually has health BENEFITS.
Low salt diets have been linked to insulin resistance (which is very bad and almost certainly one of the major causes of obesity) and salt consumption has remained very stable while the population continues to get fatter.
Just about every physician who understands the positive effects that a low carbohydrate diet has on one’s health does NOT recommend focusing on reduction of salt.
In fact, the latest version of the Atkins Diet books actually recommend increasing salt intake when first switching to a low carb diet to avoid some of the cramping that can come when a body flushes the water that the carbs were causing you to retain.
If you eat a healthy, low carb diet, you will find that reducing salt has almost no effect on your health, and only serves to make your food taste worse.