A new eight year long European study concludes that salt consumption is not dangerous and may in fact be GOOD. This is certainly contrary to advice from American Medical Association, American Heart Association and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which says higher sodium consumption can increase the risk of heart disease. It’s not unusual to see differing opinions, but what are we ordinary folks to make of the controversy?

The study followed 3,681 middle-aged Europeans who did not have high blood pressure or heart disease at the start of the study. They were divided into three groups: low salt; moderate salt; and high salt consumption. There were 50 deaths in the low salt group, 24 in the moderate consumption group and only 10 in the high consumption group. In fact, the heart disease risk in the low consumption group was 56% HIGHER– the less salt the participants ate, the MORE likely they would die from heart disease.

But the news isn’t all good: A new animal study from Europe has drawn an association between pregnant mothers’ sodium intake and their newborn’s kidney development. Among the most significant aspects of the study’s findings is that either too much or too little salt during pregnancy had an adverse effect on the prenatal development of the offspring’s kidneys. The consequence of such disruption can lead to high blood pressure in later years.

Researchers Dian Griesel and Tom Griesel say, "The optimal level of salt in our diets has been a controversial subject for at least 20 years (but) there is no disagreement that high blood pressure (even moderately high) is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. However, salt consumption does not seem to have the same effect on everyone." But beware of hidden salt: the biggest source of salt in our diet is the refined and processed foods purchased at the grocery store along with food served in restaurants, particularly fast-food which amounts to about 75% of salt consumption for the average person.

If you’ve been eating too many potatoes lately, you need to download Anne Strieber’s famous diet book, "What I Learned From the Fat Years." Using scientific principles, she devised a diet that helped her to lose 100 pounds and YOU CAN TOO. And no matter what you drink, we suggest you pour it into a Dreamland Festival mug!

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