Sodium is one of those things that society thinks they ‘know are unhealthy’, similar to saturated fat. This is however a myth and modern science can prove it.
Governing bodies have spent massive amounts of tax payers money, warning us against the dangers of salt, however, the perception that the community take home is misconstrued.
The prolific diagnosis of lifestyle diseases is the catalyst to this urging for authorities to ‘reduce salt’. This can be attributed to the excessive consumption of processed food which is laden with poor quality derivatives.
Salt consists of sodium (4o% by weight) and chloride (60% by weight).
Sodium’s role in the body is to maintains a healthy balance of hydration in the cells and around the cells through attaching to water molecules.
With this attachment, the more sodium found in the blood, the more volume of blood there is for the heart to pump around the body. It is because of this mechanism that individuals hear that ‘sodium increases blood pressure’.
This statement is true, however, the increase of the blood pressure is only mild and the benefits received from the trace elements and minerals outweighs this slight increase in work on the heart.
A clinical trail testing the affects of reduced sodium intake on blood pressure and heart disease, found no significant improvement on the participants. Read the full article here.
Sodium is in fact a crucial electrolyte within the body. Many foods contain some sodium naturally, however the majority of consumption needs to come from additional salt in the diet.
It is also an electrically charged molecule and along with potassium (found in concentrated amounts in bananas and coconut water) support the transport of information along the nerves.
The best form of salt you can purchase is celtic or Himalayan sea salt. This type of salt has lower amounts of sodium in it, however still constitutes all the benefits which are almost identical to our blood plasma.
The consensus of recommended daily intake of sodium is between 1500 and 2000 mg. 1500 of sodium equates to approximately 0.75 teaspoons or 3.75 grams of salt per day.
Most people today are eating much more than this, and worse still its poor quality, such as table salt found in processed foods.
On the contrary, many studies have shown that salt-reduced diets can cause adverse affects on health such as:
- increase in bad cholesterol (such as LDL and triglycerides)
- insulin resistance (can therefore lead in increase risk of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes
- hyponatremia (found in athletes with low sodium which is very detrimental to performance and general health.
Some simple ideas to promote healthy sodium levels and blood plasma.
- consume around 1 teaspoon of celtic or Himalayan sea salt every day
- eat low-carb (limit grains) to therefor reduce the affect insulin has on the kidneys to excrete sodium
- avoid processed foods all together
- eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables
- engage in regular exercise to maintain a healthy blood pressure.
The take home is salt is a vital component of a healthy eating plan. The key is to pick the best quality and combine this with an overall healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and balanced, natural eating plan.