Is Salt Bad For You?

Salt has been part of human life for thousands of years. It transcends cultures, religions, and generations. For centuries, people used it as currency and to preserve meat and fish. Nowadays, we use it as a seasoning for our foods. It can come in different forms, such as sea salt or Himalayan salt. Even though table salt is widely consumed, it is not necessarily bad for your health. A meta-analysis of more than 269 research papers concluded that there is no conclusive link between salt intake and heart disease or death in healthy individuals.

However, the effects of salt vary from person to person. In some studies, the intake of salt has decreased by as much as 10 percent. However, it hasn’t had the desired effect on the overall health of people. Some people respond to it more negatively than others, says Tom Sanders, epidemiologist at King’s College London and former president of the International Society of Hypertension. In the UK, for example, the amount of salt consumed per person has fallen from 12 to 7 grams per day. Since the campaigns began, average blood pressure levels have been decreasing. Appel noted that Japan, which used to have high levels of high blood pressure, is now experiencing a significant decrease in stroke and heart disease.

The World Health Organization recommends limiting sodium intake to two or five grams per day. While this may be too high for most people, a moderate amount of salt may even be beneficial. While there are several studies that point to the harmful effects of salt, most Americans don’t have a problem getting their daily dose of sodium. In fact, table salt and soy sauce contain roughly the same amount of sodium. Some varieties of table salt even contain some beneficial minerals.