Dietary guidelines for salt restriction ignores research
According to the The Salt Institute, Americans could face increased health risks by restricting sodium intake.
In a response to new US dietary federal guidelines, the group claims the recommendations ignore recent research that low salt diets could increase rates of diabetes in addition to other health risks.
The group notes U.S. dietary guidelines that recommend sodium intake of less than 2,300 mg and 1,500 mg among persons who are 51 and older, and all African American, anyone with hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease applies to half of the population.
They also say reducing salt intake per Federal guidelines issued Monday could increase obesity rates and diabetes.
The impetus behind the dietary guidelines is to lower rates of hypertension, but the Salt Institute says obesity is to blame, not dietary sodium. According to the group, the new recommendations are "drastic, simplistic and unrealistic".
“These guidelines are a classic example of ‘Ready, Fire, Aim’ by the federal food police,“ said Lori Roman, president of the Salt Institute, which represents the salt industry. “While increasing obesity and hypertension rates are health concerns we can all share, it’s simplistic and dangerous to attack salt, an essential nutrient.”
The Salt Institute cites a recent Harvard study linking low salt diets to increased insulin resistance that precedes diabetes type 2. They also speculate reducing sodium will lead to more calories consumed to satisfy an innate appetite for salt.
They group points to research published November 2010 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showing though high blood pressure has increased, salt consumption in the U.S. has not. The findings revealed salt intake is the same as it was 50 years ago.
In a commentary to Harvard study, David McCarron, a physician and adjunct professor in nutrition at the University of California, wrote, “Public policy should not try to trump human physiology. Any attempts to do so through well-intended strategies directed at the society at large, such as mandatory sodium labeling of food products and extensive educational and social marketing efforts, are not going to change an intake pattern that reflects human biology. Such efforts also carry potentially substantial risks.”
Morton Satin, vice president of science and research at the Salt Institute says, “If high blood pressure increased significantly but salt consumption did not, then it is obvious that the Dietary Guidelines regarding salt are baseless." He says......"available clinical research predicts several negative consequences across all age groups" linked to low sodium in the diet.
The Salt Institute says obesity, not salt is to blame for rising rates of high blood pressure.They say dietary guidelines for drastically reducing salt intake ignores recent research and can put Americans at risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes and would ..."make the United States the only modern society with salt consumption that low."