Table Salt vs. Unrefined Salt. Rule #1 is to ALWAYS stay away from table salt! It’s important to understand the process in which table salt is made. Table salt is put into large kilns and heated to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. This refining process removes 82 of the 84 essential mineral elements leaving only inorganic sodium chloride. Most of this salt is industrial used, while only about 7% of this makes it to the table.
Rule #2 is to ALWAYS read your labels! Table salt has “anti-caking” additives such as aluminum hydroxide, silica aluminate, sodium ferrocyanide, tri-calcium phosphate, stearic acid and others. The aluminum additives leave a bitter taste so manufacturers add dextrose, a refined sugar. Table salt essentially has been chemically cleaned and bleached, which prevents the salt from mixing with water as the true/real salt would. There are even some people that claim table salt causes cellulite!
Real Unrefined Salt Does NOT Cause Heart Disease!
It was in 1984 that a very flawed “INTERSALT” study was published. From that point forward the “Low-salt, No-salt theory” immerged! The past president of American Heart Association, Dr. Suzanne Oparil said her personal view was that the government became too quick for everyone to cut back on salt. Dr. David Brownstein, author of Salt Your Way to Health, says that natural salt is critical for heart health. Not to reduce salt!
It is important that we eliminate sources of refined salt (table salt and processed foods) and start consuming unrefined natural salt, which contains 80+ trace minerals. True unrefined salt should contain different speckles of color; the different speckles are the trace minerals in the salt. The best types of unrefined natural salt in order are: Himalayan Sea Salt, Real Salt & Celtic Sea Salt.
The following are studies debunking the “Low-salt, No-salt” theory!
1985. A ten-year study of nearly 8,000 Hawaiian Japanese men concluded: “No relation was found between salt intake and the incidence of stroke.”
Kagan, A. et. al. “Dietary and other risk factors for stroke in Hawaiian Japanese men.” Stroke, 1985; 16:390-396.
1995. An eight-year study of a New York City hypertensive population stratified for sodium intake levels found those on low-salt diets had more than four times as many heart attacks as those on normal-sodium diets – the exact opposite of what the “salt hypothesis” would have predicted.
Alderman, M.H. et al. “Low urinary sodium associated with greater risk of myocardial infarction among treated hypertensive men. Hypertension 1995; 25:1144-1152.
1997. An analysis by NHLBI’s Dr. Cutler of the first six years’ data from the MRFIT database documented no health outcomes benefits of lower-sodium diets.
Cutler, J.R., Presented May 30, 1997, at American Society of Hypertension annual meeting, San Francisco, CA. (unpublished).
1997. A ten-year follow-up study to the huge Scottish Heart Health Study found no improved health outcomes for those on low-salt diets.
Tunsall-Pedoe. “Comparison by prediction of 27 factors of coronary heart disease and health in men and women of the Scottish heart health study cohort study. British Medical Journal, 1997; 315:722-729.
1998. An analysis of the health outcomes over twenty years from those in the massive US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES I) documented a 20% greater incidence of heart attacks among those on low-salt diets compared to normal-salt diets
Alderman M.H. et al. “Dietary sodium intake and mortality: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES I).” Lancet 1998; 351:781-785.
1998. A study in Finland, reported to the American Heart Association that no health benefits could be identified and concluded “…our results do not support the recommendations for entire populations to reduce dietary sodium intake to prevent coronary heart disease.”
Valkonen, V-P. “Sodium and potassium excretion and the risk of acute myocardial infarction” Presented October 15, 1998 to the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, Dallas, TX (unpublished).
1999. A further analysis of the MRFIT database, this time using fourteen years’ data, confirmed no improved health benefit from low-sodium diets. Its author conceded that there is “no relationship observed between dietary sodium and mortality.”
Cohen, J.D. presentation to NHLBI Workshop on Sodium and Blood Pressure, January 28, 1999, Bethesda, MD
2002. The British Medical Journal published and confirmed earlier meta-analyses’ conclusions of clinical trials (Cochrane Collaboration) that significant salt reduction would lead to very small blood pressure changes in sensitive populations and no health benefits.
Hooper, L. et al. “Systematic review of long term effects of advice to reduce dietary salt in adults.” British Medical Journal, 2002; 325:628-636.
2003. Dutch researchers using a massive database in Rotterdam concluded that “variations in dietary sodium and potassium within the range commonly observed in Westernized societies have no material effect on the occurrence of cardiovascular events and mortality at old age.”
Grobbee, D.E. et al. “Sodium and potasium intake and risk of cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality: the Rotterdam Study” presented to the 13th European Meeting on Hypertension in Milan, Italy, June 13-17, 2003 (published abstract)
2006. A March 2006 analysis of the federal NHANES II database in The American Journal of Medicine found a 37% higher cardiovascular mortality rate for low-sodium dieters.
Cohen, H. et al. “Sodium intake and mortality in the NHANES II follow-up study.” American Journal of Medicine 2006; 119,275.e7-275.e14
2007. The International Journal of Epidemiology studied 40,547 Japanese over seven years and found “the Japanese dietary pattern was associated with a decreased risk of CVD mortality, despite its relation to sodium intake & hypertension.” Japanese have higher sodium consumption than US.
Shimazu, T. et al. “Dietary patterns and cardiovascular disease mortality in Japan: a prospective cohort study.” International Journal of Epidemiology 2007; 36:1: 1-10.
2007. Analysis of a large Dutch database published in the European Journal of Epidemiology documented no benefit of low-salt diets in reducing stroke or heart attack incidence nor lowering death rates.
Geleijnse, J.M. et al. “Sodium and potassium intake and risk of cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality: the Rotterdam Study.” European Journal of Epidemiology 2007; 10.1007/s10654-007-9186-2.
2008. A May 2008 examination of NHANES II (the largest US federal database of nutrition and health) published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine confirmed two earlier studies of earlier NHANES surveys that there is no health benefit (CVD or all-cause mortality) for those on low-sodium diets.
Larsson, S.C. et al. “Magnesium, calcium, potassium and sodium intakes and risk of stroke in male smokers.” Archives of Internal Medicine, 2008; 168 (No 5), 459-465 (March 10, 2008).