New report questions the need for low salt amounts in our food.

New evidence about salt and heart disease

New report questions the need for low salt amounts in our food.

Many of those with high blood pressure have been told to lower the amount of salt in their diets to help keep the pressure low since high salt amounts cause water to be retained, thereby increasing blood pressure. Many processed foods rely heavily on salt as well, sneaking sodium into our diets.

A new study challenges the belief of the evils of salt. Check it out

Study Questions How Sharply US Should Cut the Salt

By LAURAN NEERGAARD AP Medical Writer
WASHINGTON May 14, 2013 (AP)

A surprising new report questions public health efforts to get Americans to sharply cut back on salt, saying it’s not clear whether eating super-low levels is worth the struggle.

Make no mistake: Most Americans eat way too much salt, not just from salt shakers but because of sodium hidden inside processed foods and restaurant meals. Tuesday’s report stresses that, overall, the nation needs to ease back on the sodium for better heart health.

But there’s no good evidence that eating very low levels — below the 2,300 milligrams a day that the government recommends for most people — offers benefits even though national guidelines urge that certain high-risk patients do just that, the Institute of Medicine concluded.

Also, there are some hints, albeit from studies with serious flaws, that eating the lowest levels might actually harm certain people — those who are being aggressively treated for serious heart failure, the report added.

The prestigious group, which advises the government about health, urged more and better research to settle the best target range.

“We’re not saying we shouldn’t be lowering excessive salt intake,” said Dr. Brian Strom of the University of Pennsylvania, who led the IOM committee. But below 2,300 mg a day, “there is simply a lack of data that shows it is beneficial.”

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