01 Jul

To Salt or Not to Salt: Is Salt Good or Bad for You?

To Salt or Not to Salt: Is Salt Good or Bad for You?

We have sold salt short (say that three times fast).

Physicians have been admonishing patients to lay off the salt because it MAY increase blood pressure or cause pulmonary edema, leading to heart failure, shortness of breath and hospitalization.

However, this ubiquitous crystal is quite innocuous in individuals with normal blood pressure, kidneys and good heart health.

And unfortunately, the ban on salt has led in an increase in the number of people who are iodine deficient. Iodine is an essential mineral responsible for thyroid and hormone production. Without it, you can end with hormone deficiencies and fibrocystic breasts.

That’s why they iodized salt in the first place.

So, in the process of protecting the small segment of the population who could be harmed by salt, we have deprived a larger segment of iodine and a crystal which enhances our eating experience.

Now there are people for whom we prescribe salt.

They generally have low blood pressure, so low they become symptomatic. They get light headed, faint or fall. These peeps must take in extra salt to maintain proper volume and blood pressure, thereby preventing black out episodes.

So should you cut down on salt?

Ask your cardiologist. 

If your heart, kidneys and blood pressure are all within normal limits, then the answer will probably be no. If you are having hormone problems, thyroid problems or fibrocystic breast changes, have your iodine checked.

Now that’s my advice. Take it with a grain of salt.