And I’m Here to Help You (AAaargh!)
Once upon a time, an important person–at least in his own mind, and we’ll never know because the name has been lost in the mists of history–decided salt was bad for us. Dunno why the subject even came up, but it ended with a verdict: Salt is bad.
And so the word went forth. Lo and behold, the idea that salt did dastardly things became accepted wisdom.
One fine day, however, in more recent years, various groups of people decided to put this conventional wisdom to the test. A scientific test.
Their research removed salt’s villainous reputation once and for all. While a small percentage of the populace has a problem with salt, most do not. Fact is, small percentages of the populace have problems with one sort of food or another. It turned out, then, that people obeyed doctors’ orders, eating flavorless glop, all those years for naught.
But when did you last hear a doctor say, “I was wrong?” The very words fall on their ears as Swahili, or some other language not known to them.
So just the other day, the CDC–your government in action–came forth with the news, once again, that salt is bad for you. Somehow they neglected to mention the lack of scientific evidence for this statement.
Salt is necessary for life. Since people vary, so does the amount we each need for good health. But need it we do.
When people have adrenal issues, as most of the 40% of us with thyroid problems do, limiting salt is not a good idea. The adrenal glands maintain the potassium/sodium balance; when the adrenals go south, so does the salt, and you need to replenish it.
Drinking potassium-loaded sports drinks whilst limiting salt strains even a healthy system.
So why does the CDC find fault with salt? Because, in their words, “most of the sodium eaten comes from packaged, processed and restaurant foods.”
Excuse me all to pieces here, but the problem with “packaged, processed and restaurant foods” is NOT salt. These foods contain the known health destroyers MSG and soy. These ingredients cause brain inflammation, and they damage the hypothlamus, the part of the brain that controls both the endocrine system and the nervous system, i. e. pretty much everything that happens in our bodies. Puts a whole new twist on the question of whether we want crispy, doesn’t it?
As an aside, soy also contributes to kidney stones and some other goodies, but an inflamed brain is probably enough to consider in one sitting.
The CDC announced plans to work with food manufacturers and restaurants to remove salt, a health-promoting agent, but leave in the ingredients that damage the brain. Do you see something just a teensy bit wrong with this picture?
The old joke “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help you” turns out not to be a joke after all. At least, I’m not laughing.
About the author: Bette Dowdell is not a doctor, nor does she purport to be one. She’s a patient who’s been studying and successfully handling her own endocrine problems for more than 30 years. She offers introductory teleseminars and an in-depth12-month subscription program, “Moving to Health” about living well with endocrine issues. She explains how things work–or don’t, discusses what things to avoid as well as the things that help, and she provides a lot of well-researched nutritional information. Subscribe to her free e-zine at