The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #171976   Message #4168996
Posted By: Steve Shaw
01-Apr-23 - 08:21 PM
Thread Name: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
"What salt does is make your entire cardiovascular system become less pliant and elastic and literally hardens and stiffens every artery and vein."

I'd like to see the evidence for this. The big deal on salt in the diet is as follows, and I'm fully aware that this is not quite in the spirit of the thread, though I do think that broad-brush and potentially misleading statements deserve to be addressed:

Lots of foods contain added salt. Stuff such as bacon, sausages, burgers and cheese, even bread, can be high in salt. Processed foods and ready meals are prime culprits, as salt is used to mask the fact that low-quality, cheap ingredients are used.

I'm a big fan of Italian cookery, and that means using high-quality ingredients that have plenty of intrinsic flavour. There's a world of difference, for example, between cheap hothouse tomatoes and the very best that the best growers can produce, and the price difference can be quite small. You just have to be savvy about what you're looking for, that's all. If you use good ingredients, you need use far less salt. Most of my cooking is very simple with fresh, unprocessed ingredients. I know what salt I'm adding but I don't delude myself. I made a risotto last night that contained about 50g pancetta (for three people) and a good dose of freshly-grated Parmesan cheese. Two salty ingredients. The vegetables therein, nil salt. The extra salt added, nil. No-one was complaining!

One other thing, with regard to the broad-brush statement I started this post with: the evidence for harm caused by salt intake above the recommended level (it's 6g per day in the UK) is very conflicting. It's possible that you as an individual might be aware of specific adverse effects on you, apropos of high blood pressure, for example. Two things there: other factors may be contributing to that, and salt may not be the worst of them and you wouldn't know. Second, lots of people tolerate inadvisably high salt levels very well. I read a study many years ago (don't ask me where, because I can't remember) that concluded that four out of five people handle excess salt very well. Of course, who knows whether you're one of them, and Russian Roulette could be not necessarily the best way forward.

I'm not arguing against the precautionary principle here. In fact, I'm extremely vigilant about my own salt intake as my blood pressure tends to the high side of normal. But, as ever, broad-brush doesn't cut it with me. I tend always to look for the real science.

I bought a blood pressure machine a year ago that came highly recommended for its accuracy. I'm not exactly over the moon about my readings but I won't worry as long as they don't skyrocket.