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Good Morning,

I want to address the latest news stories concerning salt and our health.

Most of you are aware that when the media reports about salt, they generally mean sodium. It's the sodium that we are concerned about. Salt just has a lot of sodium in it.

That said, we must also remain alert to the lobbying efforts of the American Salt Institute (ASI), an organization of salt manufacturers. Why are they opposed to the reduction of salt intake when it's proved beneficial to those with hypertension and other chronic illnesses?

At Megaheart we have pretty much established through the past thirteen years that table salt and the salt added to processed foods do constitute a serious challenge to our health. Salt manufacturers sell tons and tons of salt to food processors. Therefore, the news that some government bodies are about to "ban" salt, or demand less salt be used in processed foods and in restaurants, pretty much has the ASI up in arms with their own "reports." I find most of these fascinating fiction.

Salt harms humans and animals. Salt damages us. It does so caustically and with its sodium. It doesn't matter if its table salt, sea salt, or Kosher salt or any of the newer artisanal salts.

For years now Meniere's patients have verified that cutting salt out has stopped their dizziness. Congestive heart patients have reversed their disease and many have returned to full health, an unheard of "procedure" before we adopted our no-salt lifestyle. Others have actually been able to get themselves removed from the heart transplant list or at least avoid the list.

Many articles of late address this entire subject as pertaining only to "heart attacks," which is generally a cardiovascular challenge often exacerbated by high saturated fat diets, smoking, and a lack of exercise. High sodium levels, however, cannot be of help.

Cutting salt out reduces excessive body fluid retention, which is usually caused by the sodium in salt. High levels of body fluid can cause edema (swelling), as well as put pressure on our blood vessels, which usually causes high blood pressure, which is related to forcing the heart to work harder, which in turn often develops into congestive heart failure (CHF).

The subject is of course more intricate than my description above, yet no media article has the space nor do they have the inclination to go into the physiological depth of exactly who did what studies, whether they were double-blind or weighted or skewed or happened at all.

We know from more than 100,000 individual E-mails since 1997 that cutting salt works. That's the basis of our knowledge. We are dealing with real people with real, often life-threatening challenges. Not surprisingly, the variety of chronic illnesses that need to cut salt continues to amaze us.

At, hyptertension seems to be the number one illness followed by congestive heart failure, many of whom also have diabetes. Near the top of the list we also have Meniere's Syndrome. But others aren't far behind. We've also heard from many other countries, not just the USA. Worldwide, hypertension seems to be a huge problem and it seems to ultimately lead to congestive heart failure.

The big news is that we are convinced after working with so many individuals, that cutting salt out of our diet, in addition to medications and exercise, has in many cases reversed heart failure. At the very least cutting high levels of sodium for many has subdued overwhelming symptoms.

Meniere's Syndrome is not caused by high levels of sodium from salt, but its debilitating effects are sure reduced when cutting salt out. It also helps reduce the hissing of tinnitus.

Kidney patients also benefit when cutting salt out of their life. That's why we've added a page just for renal dietary challenges at Renal Diet.

And children, athletes, and outdoor workers do not need salt and this has been proved unequivocally in Australia by Dr. Trevor Beard, Director of Australia's Salt Skip program. Dr. Beard has researched salt and its affects on humans for more than forty years. He has proved that athletes do not need products such as "energy" drinks while competing, that in fact their endurance rises when they drink just water, while it declines when consuming "salted" fluids.

The bottom line here is caveat emptor when reading reports flatly stating that salt is not harmful. You will see these reports on the rise since salt has become the news of the day, and many of them seem to emanate from the American Salt Institute.

As to how much sodium our body needs, the answer has been scribed by researchers for years. Just 8 to 10 mmoL. That's about 144 to 180 mg a day.

However, we have learned that 500 mg a day is an excellent and doable target and that indeed, it reverses many chronic ailments. If we eat a balanced diet as suggested in the FDA "food pyramid," and if all those foods are natural or unsalted, we will pretty much hit the 500 mg a day. Some days I land around 350 mg while others I go over a little, but always with unsalted, or no salt added food. We will also find that we meet all daily requirements for important nutrients, and we'll meet weight standards that are just as important to us for protecting our health as is lowering sodium intake.

If you've adopted a much lower salt regimen, please stick with it. It works and it's worth it.

Donald Gazzaniga