Go ahead put salt on your food: ignore the feds' bad advice on diet and nutrition.

Author:Bailey, Ronald
Position::SCIENCE
 
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"SALT," AN UNKNOWN wit once said, "is what makes things taste bad when it isn't in them." In that sense, government nutrition nannies have spent decades urging Americans to make their food taste bad.

In June 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued proposed guidelines to the food industry to reduce the amount of sodium in many prepared foods. The agency, noting that the average American eats about 3,400 mg of sodium daily, wants to cut that back to only 2,300 mg. That is basically the amount of sodium in one teaspoon of salt. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) similarly advises that "most Americans should consume less sodium" because "excess sodium can increase your blood pressure and your risk for a heart disease and stroke.''

There's one problem: Evidence has been gathering for years that government salt consumotion guidelines might well fill more people than theysave.

The research does suggest that some subset of Arrericans may be especially sensitive to salt and would benefit from consuming less. Amoag those are folks with ancestcrs from Sab-Saharan Africa. But for most people. the risk lies else-where.

A 2014 meta-analysis of more than two dozen relevant studies, published in the American Journal of Hypertension, concluded that risk of death appeared to be lowest among individuals consuming between 2,565 mg anc 4,796 mg of sodium per day, with...

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