Salt is “a health hazard requiring vigorous attack” according to a recent systematic review (2). The above image is of a 100g serving of ham I found today. When it comes to fat loss and a general healthy diet, I have never been a fan of ham. For the average person, it is difficult to purchase fresh, lean hams that have not been processed. The vast majority of hams consumed are the unhealthy, packaged versions that are loaded with sodium.
According to a recent systematic review in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, high blood pressure is the leading cause of premature death worldwide (1). Scientists went on to conclude that lowering salt intake reduces vascular disease and could not find evidence to suggest that limiting dietary salt intake causes harm (1).
Remember: health goals can be more than simply fat loss. One could argue if a person is really “healthier” after losing 10lbs while still consuming a high-salt diet full of processed foods.
We are what we eat, and high blood pressure from excess sodium consumption is an excellent example of this correlation.
TAKE HOME TIPS:
1. MOST OF THE SALT IN OUR DIETS IS NOT ADDED, BUT HIDDEN IN THE FOODS WE CONSUME.
2. YOU CAN REDUCE YOUR RISK OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, STROKE, AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE BY REDUCING SODIUM INTAKE.
3. AIM TO PURCHASE FRESH MEATS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN PACKAGED IN SALT.
Aric Sudicky cofounded Ontario’s first medically integrated exercise and nutrition program. He is a former Canadian Fitness Professional of the Year, medical student, and advisory board member for STRONG Fitness Magazine. You can follow Aric via his facebook or twitter pages.
1: Neil B. Dietary salt is a public health hazard that requires vigorous attack. Can J cardiol. 2014 May;30(5):502-6. Dietary advice for reducing cardiovascular risk.
2: Rees K, et al. Dietary advice for reducing cardiovascular risk. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Dec 6;12.