Friday, November 9, 2012

Pass The Salt Please

Brian Lily writes today; “New Democrat MP Libby Davies wants to introduce guidelines for food manufacturers that will see them cut in half the amount of salt in their products, or put cigarette-style warning labels on their product”.
I guess this was a breaking point for me. I’m at the point now when Health Canada puts out a warning such as, tanning beds cause cancer, lawn herbicides cause cancer and finally too much sodium raises blood pressure which leads to cardiovascular disease (CVD) and death I immediately raise an eyebrow.  Whenever governments start these campaigns, look for cancer rates to rise and CVD deaths increase.
Let me go on a quick rant about sodium. Salt is an essential mineral. Without it the body will die. If you get too little your IQ will drop and your body’s systems will become damaged.  This salt myth has been around since the 60’s. I believe it started when drug companies started introducing blood pressure lowering medications. They started spewing untruths that too much salt was causing hypertension and the only solution was drugs.
This myth has been vetted literally through hundreds of studies proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that lowering salt intake will not lower risk of CVD. In fact it will raise it.  The Lancet Medical Journal published the results of a study referenced in the Journal of the American Medical Association, May 2011. In it Jan Straessen and colleagues found when studying systolic blood pressure (BP) that a positive correlation could be found with sodium when examining 24 hour urinary sodium excretion.  She found lower sodium excretion predicted higher cardiovascular disease. mortality.
It is not the sodium content in processed foods that are bad, it is the fact that these foods are nutritional poor with too much inflammatory fats, carbs, dyes and preservatives. There is nothing wrong with adding salt to prepared meals.
This article links to my last on adrenal fatigue. Too little salt equals adrenal problems. The lack of exercise and horrid diets have left most of our population in a state where hormone levels are out of wack. If your hormones are jacked you will not lose weight.  When your adrenals are not activating properly, you become leptin resistant. This leads to gut inflammation and then insulin resistance.  I see this everyday with new clients being tested at my personal training studio in Ottawa. Along with exercise it is the key to their health. Like many they show up believing all of the untruths that they see and read in media.  Unfortunately our government seems to believe these myths as well.
So what type of salt is best. I like  coarse sea salt over refined salt. Himalayan mountain salt is the most unpolluted, if you are the “I need the best of the best type”.
Be very wary about government policy on health.  Politics and science usually don’t mix. The message coming out at the end is usually complete garbage. I’m not being too harsh. Next they’ll tell you that eating vegan will keep you looking younger. Oh and pass the salt!
Mike Hayden
TopShape Fitness Studio