It's All About Taste
What is it about we Americans that makes eating for pleasure such a doggone difficult concept to wrap our little Cotton Mather heads around?
In the case of this article, the issue is framed completely wrong. It may very well be the case that too little salt will harm you. And it may very well also be the case that too much salt will harm you. The studies are all pretty inconclusive and who on earth knows what the next one will say, when they control for some brand-new confounding variable?
Meanwhile, there's a very simple way to get exactly the right amount of salt in your diet.
Make and eat real food, not processed garbage, and salt it until it tastes good to you. That's it. You'll get as much salt as you need and no more. Because the real issue at play here is that too little salt often leaves good food tasting bland while too much salt makes good food taste terrible.
In fact, with all real food, it's about how it tastes, not whether it's "good"for you. All that most of us really need to know about nutrition was neatly summarized in the first sentence of Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food, namely:
Eat food, not too much. Mostly plants.
But for some reason, Americans still insist on "eating for health" instead of for pleasure. And that all but provokes an inevitable reaction: too many of us keep on mistaking pleasurable foods for processed garbage with lethal amounts of salt, sugar, and who-the-hell-knows-what-else in them. It creates a deadly dichotomy. One side leads to deadly dull meals; the other is simply deadly.
The fact we gorge on garbage and the fact we think the alternative is to focus on health - both of these strike me as very weird. As I see it, it's all about taste and understanding what "tastes good"means. It's an attitude that puts pleasure first, not Puritanism and its opposite.