Letter to the Editor

Salt and health

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Dear Editor,

Students in science and chemistry classes learn that table salt is sodium chloride.

Sodium is the sixth most common element on earth. The human body must have sodium to survive and to function properly.

According to a feature article in the Jan. 31, 2016 Deseret News by Jennifer Graham, "Salts of the Earth," sodium chloride is both a killer and a healthful mineral.

A study in 2008 by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City found that a low salt diet might be worse for us than a high salt diet.

Dr. Frank Sachs, professor of cardiovascular disease prevention at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, found that the effects of sodium on us are greater as we age. People 30 and older have difficulty with their bodies not reacting well to sodium chloride.

Excess table salt in our diet can cause high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease.

For this reason, a half-teaspoon per day of table salt is considered adequate for people over 30 years old.

For younger folks, one teaspoon daily is enough.

Sodium is found naturally in many foods. Our taste buds detect only 20 percent of the taste of salt in a potato chip.

I have used Lite Salt put out by Morton's for over 20 years. It has 12 percent sodium and 10 percent potassium and is iodized. This curbs my desire to use table salt.

Experts say it is important to curb our salt intake. Excess use of it can cause high blood pressure and is a contributing factor to kidney disease.

The American Heart Association states that our body's response to excess sodium chloride is like turning up the pressure in a garden hose.

Helen Ruth Arnold,

Trenton, Nebraska

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: