Monthly Archives: July 2010

It’s time for the salt feud to fade

One of the longest-running feuds in modern nutrition science revolves around a simple question: Will reducing salt intake save lives?salt-spillled-new

Fifty years ago, when the science of salt was just beginning to develop, the controversy was understandable, appropriate, and even helpful. It forced researchers on both sides to scrutinize and improve their work and research methods. A provocative, controversial article in Science magazine by journalist Gary Taubes, called “The (political) science of salt,” lays out both positions, though Taubes blatantly sided with the camp backing the idea that reducing salt would have little effect on health. (1) Keep in mind that some of the pro-salt ideas were fueled by the Salt Institute, a trade association that continues to fight restrictions on salt with the same tenacity and arguments that the tobacco industry has used to fight restrictions on smoking. (2) In the past, the position of the Salt Institute has been allied with that of large food companies and the National Restaurant Association, but more recently, the NRA has been working with its members to pro-actively address the challenge of reducing sodium levels in food.

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