IOM says lower salt doesn't lead to better health

Nag, nag, nag, nag, nag -- it never seems to end, does it?

Well, next time someone nags you over salt, you've got official permission to tell him to go shake it -- because the Institute of Medicine says you don't need to cut back to the ridiculous levels being pushed by the American Heart Association.

The IOM says the science on salt is both unclear and inconsistent -- so much so that they can only say two things for sure:

  1. Cutting back to the absurdly low levels being pushed by the AHA and others can HURT and even KILL patients; and
  2. They're not even sure what the upper limit of salt should be.

Naturally, this has left mainstream jaws dropping, fingers wagging, and tongues clucking. But let them drop, wag, and cluck all day -- because for once, the IOM managed to get something right.

(Doesn't happen very often, does it?)

Most of the so-called benefits of a low-sodium diet come from the belief that cutting back will reduce blood pressure. In reality, that doesn't always happen -- and when it does, the drops are usually small and meaningless (except in a small number of people who are sensitive to salt; but that's another story).

And in exchange for that small... and possibly non-existent... dip in BP levels, cutting back on salt can lead to increased triglycerides and increased insulin resistance -- and neither of those increases are particularly good for your health.

As a result, people on very low sodium diets have a HIGHER risk of heart problems and death -- up to FIVE TIMES HIGHER, according to one study I told you about a couple years back.

(Did you know that salt could be the key to reducing your anxiety and stress levels? But what else it may reduce as a result will really shock you. Click here to get the whole story.)

Sure, it's possible to get too much salt -- but at least one study has shown that you'd have to eat 7,000 mg a day before you reach "too much."

Besides, the only way to hit that "too much" level is to eat processed and packaged foods, which are practically made of salt. If you stick to fresh foods and season them yourself, your own taste buds will ensure you get precisely the right amount for both good taste and good health.

Now get shakin'.