The IOM report changes "nothing about the general advice about salt and high blood pressure," Bittman argues. The IOM simply warns against reducing sodium intake to less than 1,500 milligrams per day—a nearly impossible feat in our food culture, where sodium lurks in almost every food item you can image.
"Of course you need sodium, but insufficient consumption is hardly a public health threat," Bittman quips.
The IOM report rightly calls for more research into salt consumption. But the real problem isn't what we know about salt—it's where we get it. Only 10% of the salt we consumed is added at the table. About 80% of our salt consumption comes from processed foods, and another 10% is naturally occurring.
"Salt intake—like weight, and body mass index—is a convenient baseline for public policy people to talk about. If you focus on eating less salt — and, indeed, less sugar—you will inevitably eat less processed food…[and] eat more real food," Bittman writes.
And "if you eat more real food, not only are you healthier, but you probably don’t have to pay attention to how much salt you’re eating. Wowie zowie," he concludes.
On the blogs today
- The Pipeline: Proponents say that the new cryoballoon’s larger and more uniformly cold surface not only makes AF ablation more efficient, but also boosts its efficacy. See what our experts think.
- Care Transformation Center: Lisa Bielamowicz explains how to target your care management efforts with one simple question.
- Cardiovascular Rounds: Jeffrey Rakover collects the Cardiovascular Roundtable's resources on how to manage the outpatient shift.