Salt and The Confusing ‘Safe’ Level

IAS News 7 October 2014 | 1 Comment

Did you know that by reducing the intake of salt by only 2g a day could potentially mean a 20% lower risk of suffering from cardiovascular events? One study, the Global Burden of Disease estimates that 3 million deaths, 61 million years of disability and 57 million years of life lost were related to high intake of salt in 2010!

Salt is thought to contribute to a large number of deaths around the world due to the high levels that many of us consume it in. It is contained in many of the processed foods that we eat on an almost daily basis, and the only way to really control how much is being consumed is to eat only food stuffs that have been made from scratch by yourselves, or in a restaurant, who are very aware of the problems of too much salt.

While many countries around the globe have implemented strategies to encourage people to consume less salt, it is still very early days with much more progress needed. It is said that from a number of 32 in 2010, there are now 60 countries which have launched initiatives to lower the intake. One example of this is the lowering of salt content in bread; the US has achieved almost a 30% lowering in the amount. Another is the UK, where salt intake reduced from 12.8g to 9g between 1979 and 2007.

It is believed that one of the main issues with the salt debate is that there is a lot of confusing and often misleading data available. Often the misleading data pushes aside the data that is more meaningful and of a higher quality, resulting in the wrong information being made available; which can unfortunately cloud the issue on how important it is to control salt intake.
In 2012 the WHO issued new guidance that recommended adults should consume less than 2000mg of sodium (equivalent to 5g of salt) per day. However the American Heart Association has said that adults should try and limit their intake to less than 1500mg per day. In the UK the average intake of salt has fallen to the lowest in any developed country at 8.1g per day. The resulting decrease in blood pressure may mean that as many as 20,000 fewer strokes, heart attacks and heart failures may occur.

As you can see there is a long way to go in reducing the amount of salt in all our diets in order to cut back the dramatic effects that this has on our healthy life spans. However not all salt is seen as bad salt, in fact it is thought that there is ‘good’ salt that in fact contains many trace minerals that everyone needs to live healthily. So it seems that much more research is needed into this subject before we can know for sure exactly how much salt is bad for us.

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One Response on “Salt and The Confusing ‘Safe’ Level”

  1. Alexandre says:

    Thank you very much for making this blog. I relaly identify with your situation, got diagnosed hypo over 7 years ago and am struggling since. Weight is the biggest problem for me as I’m a very healthy eater and relaly loved my clothes which no longer fit! I’m trying to bring myself to pack them away but cant give up. Struggling at the acceptance stage! we share the exact same weight stats too which is relaly interesting, I hope you are feeling better on your current regime, do you take synthetic or dessicated thyroid supplements now? I’m trying to give the natural dessicated method a go as the synthetic has not helped my last symptom, inexplicable weight gain.

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