More and more evidence is piling up, like a heap of potatoes going into stew. Salt does not CAUSE high blood pressure or increased rates of death. And in some ways salt seems to have a protective effect and may actually extend life.
This is completely the opposite of what just about everyone in the big-money medical establishment is saying. But you know I’m going to tell you the truth, even if if flies in the face of conventional wisdom. Because that’s what I do.
On the other hand, processed foods (which are often high in salt) probably do cause high blood pressure, but that is for a different and very hidden reason that we’ll get into in a bit.
How much salt do you pee out?
That is the criteria for this study. And it’s a pretty good indicator of salt intake. So we know that it’s not just people fibbing about how much salt they ate (or not).
Most people don’t know how much salt they wolf down anyway… so it’s important in studies like these to have some kind of objective factor. Otherwise you’re just spitting into the wind.
And what it found is that the top number of your blood pressure (the systolic number) does ebb and flow with sodium intake, but that the (bottom number) the diastolic blood pressure number – the one that measure the the actual PRESSURE in your vessels, remains pretty much rock solid no matter what the salt intake.
If you don’t have hypertension salt will not cause it
In this population-based cohort, systolic blood pressure, but not diastolic pressure, changes over time aligned with change in sodium excretion, but this association did not translate into a higher risk of hypertension or heart disease complications.
So salt does not equal high blood pressure OR heart disease. No matter how much the consumption.
But it gets even MORE interesting.
Salt seems to have a protective effect
Lower sodium excretion was associated with higher heart disease mortality.
OK. Time to calm down.
Because this kind of thing makes me a bit hot under the collar. Not only could the conventional wisdom of lowering salt rates be ineffective for preventing high blood pressure, it also could be shortening your lifespan. UGH.
What this is saying is that not eating ENOUGH salt actually raised the rate of deaths from heart disease. Yep. You read that right. Cutting salt could make you die early.
And this is a long study. Done on humans. 7.9 years. It gives it enough time to show if there are longer term effects. And the results are conclusive. And disturbing in a lot of ways.
Because your docs just don’t know this. They are taught to prescribe and cut. And their education doesn’t include info like this.
But that’s why I’m here. To really dig into this research and give you the scoop.
(and I’m not a doc, so this is not medical advice)
Salt is not causing your high blood pressure, but processed foods may be.
Processed foods – think anything that is not around the outside edge of the grocery store – can absolutely wreck your body and cause all kinds of disease.
But it’s not because of the sodium – as we’ve just seen.
It’s because of the chemicals and fats that companies put into the processed foods to keep them “shelf stable” (or freezer stable). That way they can sell them longer and don’t have to worry about “spoilage”.
I mean think about it for a minute.
If your body is supposed to digest these foods and extract nutrients and they can sit on a shelf through the zombie apocalypse, do you think they are actually GOOD for you?
If you answered no. Then you are absolutely right.
But of all the crap that is in processed food, there is one ingredient group that rules them all for the damage it does to your body.
The processed food ingredient that really causes high blood pressure.
It’s a fat group called PUFAs or Polyunsaturated Fats. And it is in EVERYTHING. Corn oil, soy oil, canola oil, and all other vegetable oils are PUFAs.
We’ve been told to eat these fats our whole lives. They are even marked on the processed food containers as being heart healthy.
But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
PUFAs are one of the most inflammatory substances we can consume.
What PUFAs do is just go into your body and create massive inflammation.
And when your body is inflamed, your blood pressure goes up. So stay off the PUFAs. Eat real food.
Your body will thank you for it.