Remember the old food pyramid? The one that encouraged all Americans to eat a diet heavy in carbohydrates? I do. The federal government got it ass backwards, and then guys like NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg went nuts trying to control the will of entire city populations. Now the CDC gives us another example why we should not take general consensus among scientists as a green light to start regulating the food you eat, down to the number of grams of salt you consume each day. It turns out that your body needs salt — something sane people, who don’t live to become government bureaucrats, have known for quite some time.
A recent report commissioned by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reviewed the health benefits of reducing salt intake and the take-home message is that salt, in the quantities consumed by most Americans, is no longer considered a substantial health hazard. What the CDC study reported explicitly is that there is no benefit, and may be a danger, from reducing our salt intake below 1 tsp per day. What was absent about the report was is the difference between healthy mineral salts and iodized table salt.
It may be that we’re better off with more salt than less, up to 2 or even 3 tsp per day. How did it happen that such standard medical advice drifted astray, then went un-corrected for so long?
This review by the National Academies Institute of Medicine (IOM), commissioned by CDC, considered dozens of studies, from cross-cultural (less reliable) to prospective, randomized with control (most reliable). Most studies showed no relationship between salt intake and any health outcome. Some seemed to indicate that more salt had a beneficial effect.
Hotair’s Mary Katherine Ham nails it:
As with so many bad public health ideas, the idea of cutting salt found its national footing thanks to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose primary public service as head of the largest city in America has been to ban and discourage as many delicious foods as possible. In 2009, Bloomberg started the National Salt Reduction Initiative, led by the New York City health department in an effort to push major food companies into “voluntary” lower-sodium standards. The goal was to reduce sodium intake by 25 percent.
There was push-back on the initiative from the scientific community here and there, but that didn’t stop Bloomberg’s strong-arming quest. …
Bloomberg, in concert with the American Heart Association and other alarmists, got more than 20 food companies to cut their sodium in February.
The federal government, its scientists and the media might as well just consolidate and work under a new name: “The Fear Factory.” Every day researchers find new ways to get you paranoid. Some new food gives you cancer while a previous item thought to be dangerous is taken off the list.
Newsflash: On a long enough timeline we will all get cancer. Instead of freaking out about it or trying to control the behavior of hundreds of millions of free Americans, a better option is to live a healthy lifestyle, find a way to exude love and kindness wherever you go, use common sense and ultimately come to terms with death.
And if you don’t? Then you can continue to let guys like Brian Williams scare you about prostate cancer, which might (or might not) happen if you take supplements daily. “Someone get Michael Bloomberg on the phone, pronto! We need to curb the amount of omega-3 fatty acids people can buy.”
I would argue that living in anger and fear is much more likely to give you weird health problems than fish oil. If you watch television daily you’re exposed to programming geared towards pitting you against your fellow man. Watch the “news” too much, and it’s a good bet you’re irrationally living in fear over any number of things, from sodium consumption to what your neighbor will think of you if you don’t buy the newest cell phone on the market. Turn off the television more frequently. Your body, mind and spirit will thank you.