When it comes to protecting your heart, most everyone will jump up and state that lowering salt intake will protect their heart.  Few will note that refined carbs and poor intake of omega 3 fatty acids will rip apart our cardiovascular system long, long before salt would begin to be a problem.  Much like anything else in “prevention” of disease today, we seem to avoid the massive pink elephant carrying a spider monkey playing an organ grinder and point out the small spiderweb in the corner.

The true contribution of salt to cardiovascular disease and blood pressure has always been small, despite what we lead the general public to believe, and the effect of salt may really have to do with oxidative stress (in other words, in people taking better care of themselves, salt intake has no effect on blood pressure) or as a marker for processed foods (which are always higher in sodium) or maybe even as a marker for poor intake of potassium.

Either way, we focus far to much on the little things because they are easy.  Getting patients to exercise, eat right and stress less have a massive impact on heart health, but seem to be more difficult for patients to do.  I just hate to think that the general public lives under the false pretense that not salting their fast food french fries is doing their heart a favor….

Bottom line?  Avoid processed foods.  If you use salt, make it sea salt or play around with the hundreds of other spices that can flavor up whatever you’re eating.  THIS your heart will thank you for.

James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.