Eggs. Red meat. Butter. Whole milk. Saturated fat. Cholesterol-containing foods.
Can you guess what all these items have in common?
Yep. These are all “bad foods” that doctors recommend you skip if you want to avoid a heart attack and keep your heart healthy.
They also represent bad dietary advice because every one of these foods is actually good for you. And plenty of research proves it.
Now you can add salt to the list.
For years, doctors at the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) have been demonizing sodium, scaring us with lectures about how our salt cravings are causing high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke, kidney disease, and premature death.
They scolded us to unhand the salt shaker and slash our total sodium consumption to 1,500 mg per day (which is about a half-teaspoon of salt total).
This will lower our blood pressure, they promised – and save us from stroke and heart attack.
They were so sure that salt is a “killer” that they banded together in an international organization called World Action on Salt and Health (WASH) to force food manufacturers to reduce the sodium in their products.
Yuck! I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand the taste of most low-sodium foods. I once took a sip of low-sodium V8 vegetable juice and practically gagged.
Given the strength of the salt scare, you’d think there were tons of scientific studies demonstrating the dangers of sodium.
But the truth is: there is not a single double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to back up these warnings. Not one.
This was publicly acknowledged back in 2003 by Dr. Michael Alderman, a sodium expert at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a past president of the American Society of Hypertension when he went on record to say: “… there is no scientific evidence relating sodium restriction to cardiovascular benefit.
In fact, a recent review of the existing research — including six randomized clinical trials on the effects of sodium — shows that the recommendations to reduce our salt intake do not reduce mortality or the incidence of cardiovascular disease.
This review was performed by the Cochrane Collaboration, a highly-respected nonprofit organization composed of international scientific experts.
The research shows that decreasing salt consumption by 50 percent only reduces blood pressure by a single point.  Yet, it produced no reduction in overall fatalities or the risk of heart attack and/or stroke.
The Cochrane review stated that “Cutting down on the amount of salt has no clear benefits in terms of likelihood of dying or experiencing cardiovascular disease.”
All of these facts are thoroughly documented in my new book, The 30-Day Blood Pressure Cure, co-written with Dr. Roy Heilbron, MD, co-creator of the world-famous South Beach Diet.
In a recent news release, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the CDC admit there is no medically-sound reason for consumers to reduce their sodium consumption below 2,300 mg per day, based on a review of the available research.
“As you go below the 2,300 mark, there is an absence of data in terms of benefit and there begin to be suggestions … about potential harms,” said Dr. Brian L. Strom, chairman of the committee and a professor of public health at the University of Pennsylvania. He explained that the “possible harms” included increased rates of heart attacks and an increased risk of death.
Yes, Dr. Strom said that reducing your salt intake actually can kill you.
In 2011, researchers in Belgium tracked nearly 4,000 people 60-years-old for eight years and found a higher death rate from heart conditions among those with the lowest sodium intake, compared to a much lower mortality among those with the highest intake of salt.
This means that patients with the lowest salt intakes were more than five times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than those who consumed the most, according to the study which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
These findings were further confirmed by a study that analyzed seven years of diet and health data from nearly 9,000 people. The researchers found that those with a lower intake of salt did indeed have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
A 2008 Italian study found that patients who consumed a diet containing 1,840 mg of sodium per day experienced three times the number of hospital admissions (and twice as many deaths) compared to patients who consumed a diet containing 2,760 mg of daily sodium.
Dr. Alderman explains how this is possible: “Lowering salt to reduce blood pressure has other effects. It stimulates the renin angiotensin system and raises the pulse rate. Both of these things adversely affect the heart. And it decreases insulin sensitivity – that’s bad for you, too.  And in a few people, it actually raises blood pressure.” 
Of course, the American Heart Association (AHA), a physician’s group notoriously guided more by dogma than science, will have none of it.
“The American Heart Association is not changing its position,” Dr. Elliott Antman, a spokesman for the AHA association who said the group “rejects” these new findings.
You can most likely expect your doctor to continue to browbeat you about reducing your salt consumption and lowering your blood pressure (probably with drugs) – he or she is simply toeing the medical industry’s line.
Despite numerous studies to the contrary, doctors will continue to “believe” that dietary fat causes heart disease and salt consumption is responsible for hypertension and stroke.
Dogma, defined as a blind belief unsubstantiated by facts, will continue to drive these two health issues.
Meanwhile, doctors remain oblivious to the real cause of both of these conditions – even though it is hiding in plain sight.
The irony here is that “the salt crisis” may have less to do with sodium and more to do with the mineral potassium.
Here is why: Sodium attracts water, so when there’s too much sodium and not enough potassium in your body, your cells become over-hydrated, or “bloated.” This raises the volume of the blood, and in turn, raises blood pressure.
Normally, adequate levels of dietary potassium would prevent – or even reverse this situation by pumping out the sodium, thus lowering your blood pressure. But the typical American diet is dangerously deficient in potassium, and therefore prone to hypertension.
Nutritionists have known for years that raising your potassium levels will result in lower blood pressure.
Dutch researchers reported in the September 13, 2010 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine (AIM) that raising potassium levels in the body significantly decrease mortality from stroke and heart disease.
Confirming this finding, a 15-year study found that people with the lowest ratio of potassium-to-sodium in their diets had a significantly higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease compared with those with the highest ratio. These findings were published in the July 11, 2011 issue of AIM.,
Eat fewer processed foods. Processing completely removes or significantly diminishes potassium from foods. So, when manufacturers add extra sodium, it is a double-whammy that spikes your blood pressure.
Eat more whole foods. Increasing your potassium intake is easily accomplished by consuming more fresh fruits and vegetables, plus dairy products and whole grains. All are excellent sources of potassium.
Avoid potassium-robbing drugs. Certain medications are “potassium-muggers” that flush the mineral from your body. Ironically, several blood pressure drugs produce this effect. Yes, the very drugs doctors are prescribing to help control hypertension can deplete the body of the potassium, thus making blood pressure more difficult to control.
But there is a much bigger and more widespread cause for all the hypertension we are seeing today.
While doctors have been blaming high blood pressure on obesity, stress, dietary fat, and excess salt, the real troublemaker has gone unnoticed – even though it is right under their noses.
Incredibly, researchers identified this risk factor as far back as 1860 – and it appeared in medical textbooks up until about 60 years ago.
How and why it doesn’t appear on modern medicine’s radar screen is one of the most disturbing mysteries of our time.
Nevertheless, the evidence pointing to this single cause is so strong that it may be responsible for the 90 percent of hypertension that doctors maintain is idiopathic (“has no known cause”).
The facts show that something in our modern diet – and it isn’t fat or sodium – is responsible for today’s high rates of hypertension, heart attack, stroke, and heart disease.
My new book, The 30-Day Blood Pressure Cure, explains this connection.
In it, Dr. Heilbron and I describes how today’s carbohydrate-centric diet is raising the world’s blood pressure to dangerous levels – and is single-handedly responsible for our soaring rates of cardiovascular disease and sudden death.
You will also discover the startlingly simple dietary solution to high blood pressure – and you will meet real-life people who conquered their hypertension and got off all their medications simply by making a few modifications in their diet and lifestyle.
The only people who have to watch the salt consumption are the relatively few individuals who are “salt sensitive.” Everyone else can put the salt shaker back on the table.
But please, do yourself a favor. Don’t fill your salt shaker with that iodized junk in the round blue carton. This type of salt is highly-processed and composed of 97.5% sodium chloride and 2.5% chemicals, such as iodine and moisture absorbents. It is also processed under extreme heat, which alters the natural chemical structure of the salt.
By contrast, natural salt, such as Himalayan salt and naturally-dried sea salt, is 84 percent sodium chloride and 16 percent other naturally-occurring minerals, including many beneficial trace minerals such as silicon, phosphorous, and vanadium. Natural salt is important to many biological processes, including blood pressure regulation.
However, for every gram of excess sodium chloride that your body has to neutralize, it uses up 23 grams of cellular water. Hence, eating too much processed salt will cause fluid to accumulate in your tissues, which can contribute to hypertension, if sufficient potassium isn’t present.
It also tastes much better.
I never consume processed table salt, preferring the superior flavor of raw sea salt. One of my favorite products is Celtic Brand Sea Salt®. But I encourage you to be adventurous and sample a variety of brands. You’ll be surprised and delighted by the subtle differences!
Till next time…
Keep Getting Better,
 Source: The Cochrane Library Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD009217
“Reduced dietary salt for the prevention of cardiovascular Disease” Authors: R.S. Taylor, K.E. Ashton, T. Moxham, L. Hooper, S. Ebrahim
 Yang Q, Liu T, Kuklina EV et al. Sodium and potassium intake and mortality among U.S. adults. Prospective data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arch Intern Med 2011; 171:1183-1191.
 Silver LD and Farley TA. Sodium and potassium intake. Mortality effects and policy implications. Arch Intern Med 2011; 171:1191-1192.
Select the medical condition you’d like to reverse (below) -- then sign up to receive free recipes, natural healing news, and new health-boosting products via email:Your privacy is assured. We will never sell, rent, trade or share your email with any other organization
Featured Healing Products