It just doesn't get much worse than this.
On page 53 for example the author seeking to discredit research suggesting that salt reduction lowers blood pressure said, "Three of the meta-analyses concluded that dietary salt restriction was not supported by the evidence, with only one concluding there was, 'great potential' with salt restriction. However this, great potential...was based on trials with a reduction in sodium intake between1748 and 3680 mg which is highly unlikely to occur in the general population."
For the critical thinker -- this statement would suggest that the trials referenced used such minimal restrictions of salt that participants were still consuming enough salt to put them in the danger zone. This is the most common tactic used in (biased) nutritional research looking at negative health impacts from things like saturated fat, cholesterol and salt -- Three very important ingredients to the industrialized food production world.
The contradictions and idiocy contained within this book are so great that I I decided to go looking at the author's published research to see who/what might be influencing his perspective. That was when I stumbled upon paper of his titled :An Unsavory Truth: Sugar, More than Salt, Predisposes to Hypertension and Chronic Disease.
The gist of his argument in this paper, is that public health education encouraging reductions in sodium actually lead to MORE heart disease. He lays it out like this:
1) Public policies encouraging salt reductions lead to --
2) People eating foods lower in sodium -- but because they desire more sodium, they eat more food.
3) Eating more food means they eat more refined carbs and trans fat which leads to -
4) More cardiovascular disease and hypertension.
This is idiocy.
If people were getting good dietary advice, they'd know to build their diet on WHOLE FOODS that are NATURALLY LOW IN SODIUM -- i.e. vegetables, cooked beans, raw nuts and seeds and fresh fruit. Then, no matter how much they choose to eat, they would not be consuming refined carbs, trans fats or too much sodium.
The Salt Fix is a terrible book, framing the science in terribly reductionist ways, and laying out choices so as to eliminate what is really sensible (as what I wrote above shows.)
In fact DiNicolantonio at one point tells his own story of nearly passing out at the gym because of salt restriction -- but within his telling he reveals what is likely the bigger contributing factor as to why he collapsed -- HE WAS ON A LOW CARB DIET!
The facts are:
--Liberal salt use stiffens arteries and ages cells
--Liberal salt raises blood pressure for many
--Liberal salt increases risk of autoimmune diseases
--Liberal salt causes loss of calcium from bones
--Liberal salt exacerbates symptoms of heart failure
Finally, salt, like sugar and fat, is a marker of caloric density in food, and thus also TRIGGERS DOPAMINE RELEASE in the brain -- encouraging addictive eating in those predisposed to this issue -- exactly the opposite of what The Salt Fix claims.
Much better books are:
1) The Pleasure Trap by Goldhammer
2) The End of Heart Disease by Fuhrman
3) Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Essylstyn
4) How Not to Die by Greger
5) The Engine Two Diet by Esselstyn
6) Salt Sugar Fat by Moss
Ok -- one last point. The True North Health Clinic in Santa Rosa Ca has THE BEST clinical outcomes for significantly reducing blood pressure of any health clinic I have ever heard of -- and their patients maintain a healthy BP by eating an unprocessed, vegan, salt-free diet. In fact they are so good at this, that the largest union in the state of California made a two week stay at the clinic a fully reimbursable benefit for its members because this was less money than paying for the BP meds for one year!
Read their article here: