Book 3 of this year’s reading goal was The Salt Fix by Dr. James DiNicolantonio. I have to admit that this was a self-serving choice. I am a salt fiend. I’m the one adding salt to almost every dish. I knew that this book defends unrestricted salt use, and I wanted to see what its arguments were. I learned about this book from a fasting group based on the recommendations of one of my personal bibles, The Obesity Code.
The writing is sometimes hokey, like it’s your dad who’s talking, but the book is full of references to extensive research you can look at yourself. There’s also a helpful timeline at the end. Basically, The Salt Fix shows the danger of medical professionals making up “common sense” stories about how physiological processes work. The idea that high salt intake causes high blood pressure was never borne out by research: it was just a hypothesis that “made sense” to medical professionals. The recommended solution of reducing salt intake was provably dangerous and was never shown by any study to significantly lower blood pressure. In fact, the research showed that the salt reduction caused increased rates of cardiac arrest and stress to the kidneys.
In short, if you have normal kidneys, you should eat as much salt as you like. Normally functioning kidneys can easily filter out extra salt with no adverse effects. Salt to taste! The book also shows that there is an ideal level of salt intake, and this is higher than recommended by the government. The good news is that there’s no need to try to monitor salt usage: apparently your body gives you cues (like salt craving, or thirst) in response to insufficient or too-high salt intake.
I do love when well-researched books give you permission to do what you were already doing, don’t you? Now, when anyone tells you they’re reducing their salt intake, or that you should watch it with all those salty snacks, you can tell them to read this book.