For years, doctors have advised people to limit their daily salt intake to 1,500 milligrams in order to protect their hearts. Now, other doctors say that keeping your salt intake that low will hurt your heart. What we can say for sure: salt, heart.

As Gina Kolata (who is often wrong about things!) reports in the NYT, a new government health report has found that following the longstanding dietary guidelines on salt consumption may, in fact, kill you. You would no doubt die regretting all of the good food you'd forsaken in order to limit your salt intake.

“As you go below the 2,300 [mg per day of salt] mark, there is an absence of data in terms of benefit and there begin to be suggestions in subgroup populations about potential harms,” said Dr. Brian L. Strom, chairman of the committee and a professor of public health at the University of Pennsylvania. He explained that the possible harms included increased rates of heart attacks and an increased risk of death.

Other medical groups, dead-enders like the American Heart Association, are standing by their low salt intake recommendations. Although this new evidence in favor of more salt sounds rather compelling. So should you aim for more salt? Less salt? Who can you trust?

The good news is that this entire discussion is academic, because the average American eats so much salt per day that everyone agrees it will kill them.

[NYT. Photo: Karyn Christner/ Flickr]