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Most mornings I try to glance at the Bing health news site, just to see what is happening that I might need to know about. This week two studies were released by two different Journals that reached different conclusions about salt. Arrgh! At first I was irritated. Then a remembered that conflicting studies about protein and fat were what convinced me that the science behind the Blood Type Diet was true.
Some news sites reported one study and some reported the other, but Brittney R. Villalva did a good job of covering both. Here are excerpts from her article.
While a number of governmental organizations have worked to drop the amount of salt contained in processed foods, the actual impact has been unsubstantial, according to a study published May 13 in JAMA Internal Medicine. The average amount of salt contained in packaged, processed foods only decreased by 3.5 percent, the study indicates, while sodium content in restaurant food increased by 2.6 percent.
"The strategy of relying on the food industry to voluntarily reduce sodium has proven to be a public health disaster," author and Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) executive director Michael F. Jacobson said in a press release.
But at the same time, a study conducted by the Institute for Medicine has declared that dropping sodium content in excess in one's diet could also pose health side affects. While the study maintains that Americans still consume far too much salt and are in excess of the recommended 2,300 milligram maximum- it also suggests that those who have gone to great extents to severely reduce the amount of salt in their diet have not benefited medically.
"We're not saying we shouldn't be lowering excessive salt intake," Dr. Brian Strom of the University of Pennsylvania, who led the IOM committee, told the Associated Press. But below 2,300 mg a day, "there is simply a lack of data that shows it is beneficial."
The American Heart Association maintains that people should consume no more that 1,500 mg of sodium per day. The average American consumes about 3,400 mg. Many are still convinced that the large sodium intakes are resulting in numerous health problems.
The first thing that I wanted to know was whether Dr. D'Adamo took a position on salt intake. I don't have all of his books, but the ones I have don't mention salt except to say that it is neutral.
In one of his Ask Dr. D'Adamo columns he had this commentary on a study about heart disease.
...numerous studies (many harking back to the 1950's) have linked ABO type to higher levels of cholesterol and coronary artery disease. This study again demonstrates the power of defining diet by blood group: By using this system, you eat not just for today, but for tomorrow. If you are type A, you'll want to take the advice of the 'broad-band paleo-dieters' with less than a grain of salt.
This fits in with my Type A husband's problems with blood pressure. So I'll keep him on a low salt diet. But what about Type Os?
In Heidi Merritt's "On the Diet" column, she frequently recommended drinking water with "a pinch of salt and lemon." I tried that for a while, but it seemed to make me retain water weight, so I dropped it.
Adelle Davis focused her attention on keeping sodium and potassium intake in balance, warning that people eating a modern diet got way too little potassium for the amount of sodium they were consuming.
I remember many years ago trying a liquid potassium supplement that I eventually stopped taking because I started feeling faint when I was exercising. But then I tend to have low blood pressure.
The really confusing factor in all of this is that my Type O son, who is under 30 years of age, already has high blood pressure and is on a low dose of blood pressure medication. Because he is a single young professional, who eats out a lot, he has a hard time following his doctor's advice to decrease his sodium and increase his potassium.
I am left with the déjà vu feeling that something is missing in all of these studies. Perhaps one of these days someone, maybe Dr. D., will figure it out.
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