Limit salt consumption! We have been warned now for several years with regards to this starting from our grandma to government authorities. But why? Simply said, Salt’s sodium content is proven to increase blood pressure, resulting in significant issues like stroke and heart attack.
Although many warn us about too much salt, very few do talk about too little salt. Either too much or too little can cause severe problems. So what’s the right quantity? We have no suggestion. Read further to learn.
Sodium or Na is a chemical element. We get it to our body through our diet, majority from the seasoning salt. Salt is a combination of 60% chloride (Cl) and 40% sodium.
Sodium is an electrically energised molecule which helps keep electric gradients. Sodium is essential to get numerous bodily functions including muscle contraction and nerve transmission.
Sodium additionally binds to water. It helps to ensure that the fluids balance. Sodium is an entirely essential for the functioning of the body. Sodium is quite important for the entire body to work.
Where’s the Problem if Sodium is Important?
For decades, we have been told that salt is bad for our health. When these warnings are from reputed sources, we have reasonable grounds to believe in. However, what’s the real problem with too much salt?
The sodium in salt ties with water and brings in into our bloodstream. More volume is meant by more salt inside our arteries, which then puts pressure on their walls. Basically, this is the blood pressure. It’s believed that salt slightly raises blood pressure by around 5 mm HG. (source)
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a critical sign to a lot of chronic diseases like kidney failure and cardiovascular disease. According to the World Health Organization, currently, cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death. (Source) Thus, it’s obvious why tracking your sodium consumption is required.
As we have already mentioned that sodium is necessary for the body, the problem is too much of it. The principal offender here is foods that are processed. This can be way more compared to the quantity that is suggested according to most leading health organisations.
Simply how Much Sodium Daily Should We Have In Our Diet?
The following is recommended by the leading US health organisations:
- American Diabetes Association (ADA): 1500 to 2300 mg (source).
- American Heart Association (AHA): 1500 mg (source).
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND): 1500 to 2300 mg (source).
- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): 2300 mg (source).
Certainly, there’s a consensus that individuals shouldn’t be eating more than 2300 mg of sodium per day. In other words, around one teaspoon of salt.
Nevertheless, you must remember these are mere guidelines and may differ from person to person. Does research support that lowering your salt consumption is necessary?
Also, what many health organisations that are leading refrain from marketing are that the low sodium consumption may also cause serious adverse health effects.
So, we must look at these guidelines and all other variables that are leading and inquire how much sodium per day I need.
Low Sodium is Bad for Health
Too little salt can cause hyponatremia – or insufficient blood sodium. It can cause adverse effects and lower blood pressure.
Although uncommon, this can affect many people. Most typically people who often exercise or work out, do not take sufficient quantity of sodium.
According to a study in Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology showed that many people who physically exert themselves (athletes, bodybuilders, hard-core fitness fanatics) are especially at risk of hyponatremia. (source)
Individuals with pre-existing illness are far more at risk like ones with type 2 diabetes; low dietary sodium increases the risk of death. (source)
Research has shown that low sodium diets increase cholesterol by 4.6% and triglycerides by 5.9%. (source)
Don’t Forget to Look at All Dietary Factors
We’ve confirmed that an excessive amount of sodium can increase your blood pressure, yet, you’ll find some other dietary variables which may reduce your blood pressure much more efficiently than sodium constraint that is excessive.
By ensuring you get every one of the vital vitamins and minerals you require is one means to keep up healthy blood pressure. Both of which is can easily be obtained through eating plants and animal products, also additionally through multivitamins if desired.
Additionally, studies have shown that dark chocolate, as a result of the elevated rates of polyphenols, may also lower blood pressure (source).
Also, eating fewer carbs lowers your insulin levels, which then forces the kidneys to excrete excess sodium.
For sure, aside from diet, your lifestyle choices may also make an impact on your blood pressure. Exercising can significantly reduce your blood pressure along with having many other advantages for the quality of life and wellbeing.
How Much Sodium Per Day?
Anyone with high blood pressure should lower their sodium intake as advised by their doctors. No further arguments there.
Nevertheless, for those who find themselves totally healthy and desire to continue that manner, there isn’t any research indicating that lowering (or even tracking) your sodium consumption is required.
Most research shows that temperance is the important thing. Too little sodium may be dangerous, as can too much, so, someplace in the middle is essential to optimum well-being.
The truth is, people that have low blood pressure and folks following low-carb diets like the Paleo diet could need more salt in their diet, particularly if you’re also often working out.
One means to make more healthy choices as it pertains to salt will be just to use unrefined types like sea salt. These also have several trace nutrients that are beneficial to your wellbeing.
The greatest means to get sufficient sodium in your diet plan is rather than obsessing over teaspoons and milligrams, cut out refined and eat whole-foods.