People are told that reducing salt consumption is critical to long-term health. However, an increasing number of research studies question the evidence of any long-term health benefits from restricted salt diets, raising important questions about conventional thinking on salt and health.
Labelling salt as a uniquely problematic substance in our diet is particularly controversial. Salt is an essential nutrient which maintains the potassium/sodium balance and is critical to the overall functioning of every cell in the human body.
Salt reduction strategies appears to be based on evidence which has consistently failed to demonstrate conclusively that salt is harmful to the normotensive population, whilst studies published over recent years suggests that over-restricting salt intake may increase our likelihood of developing cardiovascular health problems.
People are confused by the conflicting evidence. The war on salt has continued for decades without firm evidence of any long-term health benefits from restricted salt diets. Much of current available data is derived from dietary surveys alone and there is still much to learn about this mineral, which is so vital to life.
Sodium’s relationship to blood pressure is modulated by many dietary and non-dietary factors, including the interaction and balance of a range of essential minerals. The role of salt within this process is still not fully understood.