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A study out from the Universidade de Sao Paulo contains shocking news: Brazilians consume twice as much sodium than is recommended by the World Health Organization.
The shock? That they consume ONLY twice as much. My informal study, performed in a survey of thousands of taste buds located across my tongue, indicates that Brazilians eat about 10 million times the recommended level of salt. Or, that the guy making the recommendations is himself Brazilian.
People here stop short of guzzling ocean water, but just barely. Check out the third photo down on this page, showing the classic Brazilian sirloin cut, picanha. Well, it's not really showing the picanha, because as the recipe says, for 1.3 kg of picanha you should use 1.5 kg of salt. Brazilians go a little bit lighter when salting things like salads, but not by much.
Lest the news cause anyone to reduce the salt in their diet, Folha de Sao Paulo's article about the study (not available online) includes a pro-salt sidebar. Allow me to translate:
SALT COULD BE A NATURAL ANTIDEPRESSANT
Researchers at the University of Iowa suggest that kitchen salt could be a natural anti-depressant. In a study performed on rats, they concluded that those who had salt deficiencies stopped performing pleasurable acts. They believe that a salt deficit could be associated with loss of pleasure and depression.
Come to think of it, I do feel pretty happy every time I eat picanha.