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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

IS SALT BAD FOR YOUR BODY?


Remember when eggs were bad for you?  Today, an egg a day might be okay, but you must balance your input of dairy and meat input.

Butter also took a hit and sales dramatically dropped.  Can you believe that in 1910 the average American consumed 18 pounds, dropping to 4 pounds/capita in 2000?  Now, signals from the medical profession indicate that butter could well be better for your diet than many margarines, and has ingredients actually favorable for your heart.  So which is better?  Actually, all things considered, tubed margarine with minimal transfats, might have an edge over real butter.  But, it's okay to have some butter now and then.

As I yesterday blogged on foods that can be kept on the shelf for long periods, I should mention that there are certain types of clarified butter, like Ghee, that, reportedly, can be stored UNREFRIGERATED for two years.  What spoils in butter are the milk fat solids, and there is sufficient water to promote bacterial growth.  Clarified butter has a very low water content and almost no solid milk fats.  Mind you, you should worry about cost and saturated fats.

If I seem to seemingly qualify these statements, it is mostly because nutritionists regularly adjust and reverse their opinions.  But now, what about SALT!

Here is a recent shocker.  The latest medical study showed that there is not enough evidence to prove that reducing dietary salt intake results in higher mortality or cardiovascular morbidity. That is, high salt diets do not mean higher death rates.  Further:

Salt restriction increased mortality risk more than two-fold among patients with heart failure compared with a control group.

The American Heart Association recommends a daily salt maximum of 1.5 grams.  This is less than one teaspoon of salt.  The AMA says that 9 out of 10 Americans will develop high blood pressure, which theoretically should increase the potential of leaks and bursts in your cardiosystem, and a primary cause is sodium chloride, though, actually, any sodium compound can be added to this no-no list.  

However, there is that specter of coziness between this profession and pharmaceutical companies, where if you like salty foods, just take a pill to control hypertension.  Sort of like, if you have high cholesterol, you can lower that problem with another pill and enjoy foie gras and fatty steak.  I happen to take both (pills, and delicacies, against my basic constitution for the former).

Keep in mind that salt is essential for your body, and has been used as currency throughout our history.  Too little salt can be fatal, and too much, too.  Like for life in general, an optimal balance is about right.  Even if there is insufficient proof that salt can kill you, it's probably best to keep this commodity to some minimum, for 75% of our daily intake comes from processed foods anyway.  But are 1.5 grams the optimum?  

At my advanced age, I have tended to favor a little more salt on some dishes, as they then taste better.  I justify this indulgence by walking on a golf course to balance my body chemistry.  Now that it is also possible that I am not affecting my potential morbidity, for now, I find this potentially unhealthy practice particularly satisfying. Next, about those two alcoholic drinks (which can be two five ounces of red wine, which comprise almost 40% the whole bottle).  But that advanced discussion will come later, although you can read chapter two of SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity, which was serialized in this blog beginning on 27May2009, covering salt, butter, wine and lot more.

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Wow, the Dow Jones Industrials jumped 202 to 12,587, with world markets also mostly up.  Gold did not again break an all-time record, sinking $14/toz to $1588, while the NYMEX crude is at $98/barrel and the Brent Spot $117/barrel.  I've always wondered why Europeans don't buy American oil, thus, over time evening the price between the two?  Anyone know why?

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Well, as predicted, Ma-On is not a typhoon anymore, at 65 MPH, but will still dump a lot rain and some winds over Shikoku and Honshu, moving east before even getting over Tokyo:


Tropical Storm Brett at 50 MPH in the Atlantic will continue to move northeast, weaken over the next few days, and not cause any problems.  Tropical Storm Dora south of Mexico in the Pacific, will strengthen into a Category 3 hurricane within 48 hours, but will then weaken and maybe dally with Baha:

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