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Dr. Trevor Beard

Senior Research Fellow
Menzies Centre for Population Health Research

Dr Trevor Beard of Australia, who recently joined our Advisory Panel, says he asks people if they would give salt to a breastfed baby. Of course they never would.

Yet the sodium content of breast milk comes to only 14 mg/100g.

Some natural foods have even less, but a lot have more, for example a fresh lettuce has 18 mg/100g, broccoli has 21 mg, carrots have 43 mg and lean beef has 56 mg/100g. These are Australian figures, but the US data are closely similar.

We all have no added salt as infants, and about 20 tribal societies around the world are salt free societies that have no added salt as adults. There is no evidence whatever that a natural diet needs added salt, and not a single one of these societies has ever been offered salt as a public health measure. "If this leads to more questions, fire away," he says.