Pass the Salt, Please?

It seems every day the medical establishment is telling us something different about what we should or shouldn’t do regarding our health. Usually its just refinements, and not wholesale changes in the message. Once in a while, though, everything changes. How many times have you heard that a low salt diet is good for you? Have you ever chosen the low sodium option in the supermarket, because it’s “better”? I hate to break it to you, but the science is most emphatically not in:

That’s the beauty of the salt debate: there’s so little reliable evidence that you can imagine just about any outcome. For all the talk about the growing menace of sodium in packaged foods, experts aren’t even sure that Americans today are eating more salt than they used to.

The experts don’t have anything approaching a consensus regarding how much of the tasty stuff we’re supposed to take in. Pretty soon, they’ll be saying butter isn’t bad for you. (And bacon!) Good reporting from the New York Times, as they’re not pushing a particular view here. Read the whole thing.

The funny thing is back in the 90’s, there was as show called Crusade. It takes place a couple hundred years in the future. A character on the show is sitting down to eat a meal, and is putting a bunch of salt on their food, and says, “Do you realize that people in the 20th century used to think salt was bad for you?” That quote might go down as the most portentous line in the whole 13 episode series.

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