With research, we need to take everything with a grain of salt (so to speak…) and look at the big picture. I have personally never been an advocate of steering patients towards a low salt diet. As I’ve mentioned in prior posts, “low salt” is the low hanging fruit of lifestyle changes. Very easy to change and no industry gets harmed too bad financially..it’s pretty easy to come out with a “low sodium” version of whatever crappy product was originally produced.
I personally think salt has been used as a surrogate for poor dietary choices. Many unhealthy, processed foods are very high in sodium. And, much like coffee use in the past, it was given a bad rap not because of its negative health effects, but rather by the behaviors associated with it.
Overall, a very small percentage of the population is salt sensitive. Maybe 5%. In these patients, lowering salt intake may bring down blood pressure a little. Certainly not nearly as much as avoiding refined carbs and exercising. But there is at least no harm in a low salt diet, right?
Not according to this study, which found an increase in insulin resistance (a very, very bad thing) in those consuming a low salt diet for 7 days. What does this mean? At the very least, it suggests that merely demonizing a single aspect of a dietary pattern (in this case salt), will never likely produce the intended outcome of the condition you were trying to impact. In this case blood pressure.
The bottom line is that by consuming a diet as unprocessed as possible and using a wide variety of herbs and spices in your foods and using Celtic sea salt if you feel the need to salt your foods will have only positive effects on your long term health.