Salt is an essential mineral

Salt, and more specifically sodium, is an essential nutrient. This means our body is unable to create this itself. For contrast: sugar is non-essential, which means that for the average person, their body can create glucose itself without needing any external intake.

Our salt intake will generally match our physiologic demand. Eating more low-sodium prepared and processed foods to get the sodium our bodies crave will almost certainly mean eating more added sugars. These sugars can be in the form of carbs or any of the many sugar derivatives. Eating more added sugars can result in more hypertension, more heart disease, and more preventable early death.

Dr. DiNicolantonio in The Salt Fix shows how eating the right amount of this essential mineral will help you beat sugar cravings, achieve weight loss, improve athletic performance, increase fertility, and thrive with a healthy heart[1].


Sugar is the greater enemy

Sugar is artificially added to 75% of all packaged foods in the US, and such added sugar wreaks havoc in the body. In fact, some of the harmful health effects historically attributed to salt may actually be due to sugar. Overconsuming sugar disrupts hormonal pathways and leads to fluid retention, increased blood pressure, and increased demand on the heart [2].

Those who consume 25% or more of their daily calories from added sugars (almost 15% of the US population) have an almost 3-fold greater risk of cardiac death compared to those consuming less than 10% of their daily calories from added sugars [2].

For adolescents, 50% of total daily calories may come from added sugars. Beyond problems related to dental caries and obesity, such consumption raises serious concerns about blood pressure and heart health in young people transitioning (less-than-healthfully) to adulthood [2].

Although the 2015 DGAC did recognize the problem of added sugars (recommending they contribute no more than 10% of daily calories), this recommendation is twice as high as a World Health Organization proposal to limit added sugars to 5% or less of daily calories [2].

[2] Source: