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I guess this could be true, yes

Salt-free diet ‘can reduce risk of heart problems by almost 20%’

A salt free diet will kill you, stone dead. Which is one way of avoiding heart attacks.

And as someone who happily goes off and cycles 40km in 33 oC heat (well, happily, there can be some grumbling at points but the overall is joyfully undertaken) I’m really very certain indeed that salt free would not be health enhancing.

28 thoughts on “I guess this could be true, yes”

  1. Researchers found those who never add salt to meals were 18% less likely to develop atrial fibrillation (AF), a heart condition, compared with those who always do.

    Absolute junk science, one wonders why anyone funds this tripe. An 18% reduction is simply not statistically significant in these types of studies where any number of confounding factors can be at play.

  2. The Other Bloke in Italy

    Did I read correctly, some years ago, that many patients admitted to hospital for dehydration and sodium deficiency, are promptly put on salt free diets by the dieticians?


  3. I’m all for Graun readers to have salt free diets. In fact, I’d make it compulsory. It would raise the useful IQ of the known universe considerably…

  4. Off topic but was anyone else as shocked as I was when the Spanish football president kidnapped, tortured, raped and murdered that player after the women’s World Cup Final?
    Or he might as well have, the fuss that’s being made.
    OK, dumb, stupid, got carried away, ought to apologise. But FFS.

  5. I would like to comment, but everyone has already made all the points I wanted to make 🙂

    One cure for “additive salt takers” could be a week in the Mongolian steppe. Non stop salted tea and salted mutton will cure you real fast!

  6. Andrew C @ 9.05, what would have been the reaction if the player was a bloke and the football official Princess Diana*?

    *not now obvs., in her heyday……….

  7. I have never found a shortage of people telling me what to do but the subject of diet seems to attract single-issue cranks like no other. Amidst the welter of prohibitions, the only one that I comply with is not to drink too much water, which is rarely seen and in any event coincides with my inclination. I am old enough to claim that ignoring the cranks hasn’t harmed me.

  8. Andrew C: isn’t the fuss because he refuses to apologise, claims he did nothing wrong and attacks the player?

  9. Bloke in North Dorset

    Andrew C,

    I agree. I know it’s a different culture but it was toe curling to watch and she was obviously pissed off. But from what I can gather most of the initial outrage came from the likes of the BBC and German media, where I first became aware of it.

    Perhaps bis can give us some insight in to how the Spanish media played it.

  10. Salt loss (hyponatremia)

    Hyponatremia is a condition that occurs when the sodium in your blood falls below the normal range of 135–145 mEq/L. In severe cases, low sodium levels in the body can lead to muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. Eventually, lack of salt can lead to shock, coma and death.

    Didn’t the romans use it as a punishment?

  11. Cycling 40km in 33C, I’d be more worried about chafing and other damage to my delicate undercarriage than salt deficiency.

    Are there no taxis in Portugal FFS?

  12. @Addolff

    I’m not a football fan so I didn’t know who was playing. I saw the headline picture of the kiss taken from behind the player and assumed it was a bloke being kissed on the lips by another bloke …… and wasn’t terribly surprised.

  13. This study is “Associations of adding salt to foods with incident atrial fibrillation in the UK biobank study” which is being presented at ESC Congress 2023 25-28 August, so I’m not sure if it has yet been presented. So it certainly has not yet been peer-reviewed and therefore should not be reported by general media. I’m guessing the Guardian article is based on a press release, though I have not found it.

    From what is reported in the Guardian, this study is extremely weak. Firstly, it relies on people self-reporting their behaviour, which is very unreliable. Then it further assumes that correlation is causation so the people who consume more salt experience more AF because of the salt rather than allowing for the possibility that a genetic (or other) tendency to experience AF also causes a greater desire for salt (though the title of the presentation suggests that the researchers are aware of this and that it’s the Guardian or PR person who garbled it). Furthermore, it is possible that the people who report adding less salt to their meals do so because they eat pre-prepared meals with a much higher salt content than the meals eaten by those who add only enough salt as necessary.

  14. Charles has it! Not even an “observational study” since the numbers are self-reported. I suppose it could be called a “hearsay study”.

  15. “Researchers found those who never add salt to meals were 18% less likely to develop atrial fibrillation (AF), a heart condition, compared with those who always do.”

    Maybe they didn’t add salt because the meal already had salt added?

    I rarely add salt to anything I prepare – because its prepared with the level of salt I desire.

    Science ‘reporters’ suck at asking key questions.

  16. Charles,

    Most conference papers are peer reviewed before the conference. I peer reviewed five papers a few years back and suggested that only one was worthy of being included after some rework. As it happened only one paper was included, but not the one that I suggested. The included paper was very poor in my opinion, adding nothing to the some total of knowledge, but it’s lead author was of international standing so the organisers didn’t want to exclude him.

  17. I’d guess that all of those who can take such an absolutist position vis-a-vis salt also call carbon dioxide a poison.

    “Just a little knowledge” can make you stupid.

  18. If some bloke came up to my daughter and kissed her on the lips like that it would be all on. I’m not naturally a violent person, but it would be pretty much fisticuffs unless the cnut backed down pretty fast.

    So if a boyfriend of the Spanish player, or a brother for that matter, had decked the Spaniard in question, I would be very happy with that.

    You may not mind your family members being assaulted, but most of us do. And make no mistake, it was assault.

  19. Chester, we are talking about grown ups here. Or I would have liked to think so, but given the ‘go nuclear over-reaction’ by those who are regulars on the outrage bus suggests we are not. Look at the bloke – he is overjoyed that the team representing his country and the football federation he is president of have just won the world cup. Perhaps he should have done a Daniel Levy and look like a miserable cunt even when the team wins. I wonder what the reaction would have been then?

    I enjoyed the football I watched during the tournament but won’t bother again. Ever.

  20. Most of the women I know would have had the bloke slinking away with his tail between his legs by use of a cutting comment if his behaviour had been unwanted. Are Spanish women footballers really so shy and retiring?

  21. I saw a comment last week that women are like Schrodingers cat – Strong, powerful, the equal of any man and at the same time fragile, delicate and requiring protection. And the women get to choose whichever one benefits them the most at any given moment in time.

  22. What are Spanish norms about kissing anyway? Is it like the Frogs where a cheek kiss is standard greeting but smacker on the lips is taking things too far?

  23. So, this Spanish geezer’s mother has know locked herself in the parish church and gone on a hunger strike.

    This is proper quality silly season stuff.

    Shame the Mail isn’t reporting how old she is, or how much her house is worth.

  24. Stop press sporting news. Luis Rubiales’ mother has locked herself in a church on hunger strike against what she described as the ‘inhumane’ treatment of her son after his failure to insert his tongue down the throat of the captain of the victorious Spanish women’s football team. Judging by the photos of her, she could be in there a long time.

  25. Some of my best friends

    It’s a good idea to read a scientific paper before dismissing it, or praising it. They’re often better or worse than newspaper reports might have one think.

    In this case, the abstract mentions control techniques which might well make the results more robust than you’d guess, but I haven’t read the whole paper so I don’t know.

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