Salt Part IV

When Salt Reduction May Be Warranted

As we have discussed in the last three articles in my series on salt, the evidence for universal salt reduction is weak and often conflicted. Across different cultures, dietary salt intake is at best weakly correlated with blood pressure or cardiovascular risks, and associated with poorer health outcomes at either extreme of salt intake, both low and high. As a general recommendation, it seems that salt restriction for most people may be both unnecessary and possibly harmful in the long run.

While most people have no reason to restrict salt to the levels recommended by various health organizations, there are a few health conditions in which lower salt consumption may be necessary, based on clinical and population data. Generally, these are people with serious health problems, particularly suboptimal kidney function, and the data supporting salt restriction in these individuals is somewhat controversial.

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