Dr. Michael Omidi looks at the arguments posed by the Institute of Medicine and American Heart Association over salt intake.
Institute of Medicine, an institution that commonly guides the United States government on issues of health and medicine, released a report today calling into question the advice provided to Americans on a healthy daily intake of salt. The report claims that there is not enough evidence to support the American Heart Association’s suggested daily intake of 1,500 milligrams of sodium and instead advises Americans to institute a daily allowance of 2,300 milligrams of sodium or less.
The report states that while there is an abundance of evidence to suggest that Americans should reduce their salt intake to 2,300 milligrams or less, there was not nearly enough evidence, in the opinion of the Institute of Medicine, to warrant recommendations as low as 1,500 milligrams.
In a statement, CEO Nancy Brown of the American Heart Association stated:
“While the American Heart Association commends the IOM for taking on the challenging topic of sodium consumption, we disagree with key conclusions. The report is missing a critical component – a comprehensive review of well-established evidence which links too much sodium to high blood pressure and heart disease.”
Both organizations can agree on one thing: Americans are consuming far too much salt. On average it is estimated that Americans are consuming roughly 3,400 milligrams of salt a day, and this is primarily due to salt in processed foods like fast food, cereal, and bread. With statistics showing that about 90% of the population of the US will suffer from hypertension as they grow older, and hypertension being linked to consistent consumption of sodium over the years, it is imperative that we all do something to address our salt intake.
By Dr. Michael Omidi