Is Salt the Enemy?

For years, we’ve been told that salt can cause hypertension and other cardiovascular problems. It’s why doctors and health officials routinely advise us that we’re eating too much salt. But nutrition science is imperfect and always evolving—just look at the latest advice on fat and cholesterol!

Recent research casts doubt on the influence of sodium levels on the blood pressure of healthy adults and has even pointed to health problems caused by too little sodium.

Just like taking a daily aspirin doesn’t make sense for adults who have never had a heart attack or stroke, drastic cuts in sodium intake may not be recommended for adults without risk factors for cardiovascular trouble.

A recent article in the Washington Post explains a number of fascinating biological reasons for why humans crave salt and why our bodies need salt to function. The article concludes with sound advice: “Cut your sodium intake if your health condition requires it and your doctor recommends it, but don’t look at salt as an evil that should be banned from your plate completely: There may be valid reasons why your body craves it.”