Do we need salt in our diets?

Updated: Sep 28, 2019

Much too often you hear about the adverse effect of salt consumed from our diet and its affect that salts can have on our bodies, such as:

· High blood pressure- which can have detrimental effects on the heart, blood vessels and eyes, kidneys

· Stroke – which can lead to damage to the circulation of limbs or internal organs.

· Heart disease – which can lead to heart damage and affect blood circulation.

· Kidney disease – too much salt in the diet increase the risk of high blood pressure, which can lead to complications of the kidneys

· Osteoporosis- cause the calcium needed by the bones, to be excreted from bones through our urine, leading to brittle bones

· Cancer- there are indicators that too much salt can lead to certain cancers, as they increase inflammation, which can lead to stomach cancers.

Based on the above, do we actually require the intake of salts in our diets?

There is one factor to bear in mind that when are bodies are compromised and become critical in anyway hospitals will give you a saline drip. Many people have had the benefits of a saline drip, including myself. Saline drip is made up of mainly of salts and water.

According to Dr P Kerkar 2017, he refers to

Salt in balanced quantity is definitely one of the fundamental needs of body. Adults, children and even the elderly need salt every day. But when the consumption of salt increases beyond daily requirement, health risks can begin.

Dr P Kerkar, identifies that there is a need for salt to be included in our diets as it is a crucial need.

Now there are studies that highlight the risk of having too little salt within out diet and low salt intake can indirectly have an effect on blood sugar related problems and hydration, seeing that salt and other minerals are crucial factors for keeping the body properly in hydration.

Low salt intake can also affect Longevity, as low salt is linked to shorter life expectancy.

Salt helps the body to remove stress harmonies from within the body, without this action, our bodies would remain in a state of stress. (Organic Facts, accessed August 2019).

Mark’s Daily Apple: “First, salt has been shown to speed up cortisol clearance from the blood.

Digestion, salt helps the body to digest and absorb food. Salt activates the enzyme amylase, salt allows the taste buds to taste food, creates hydrochloric acid within the stomach used to break down foods.

Salt helps with healthy pregnancy and the health benefits of salt intake can go on and on.

“Eating less than three grams of salt a day could lead to serious health problems in the future, according to a new study, which found current health recommendations appear to be confined only to those who have high blood pressure.” Accessed August 2019.

Beneficial salts

There seems to be an assumption that too much salt can cause us to be ill, and too little salt can also have an effect on our bodies.

The aim then is that we need a balance in the amount of salt that we intake. The amount of salt intake is dependent on age recommendations for adults is 6 grams (The Telegraph, Accessed August 2019). This makes it approx. 1 teaspoon of salt per day. To keep in mind that you consume processed foods it may be easier to consume salt above stated recommendations.

The qulaity of salt, moreover where the salt is sourced is another crucial factor according to research.

Chris Kresser explains: “The average American consumes about 3700 milligrams of sodium a day. This value has remained constant for the last fifty years, despite the rise in rates of high blood pressure and heart disease. (2) As a comparison, the Japanese, with one of the highest life expectancies in the world, consume an average of 4650 milligrams of sodium per day, and have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than most other developed countries. (3, 4)”

Naturally occurring salt has more health benefits than salt that has been created by man, e.g. table salt.

For instance, there is a tremendous difference between Himalayan salt which contains 93 additional trace minerals and regular table salt which is created in a lab.

Sea salt – like the Himalayan salt contain trace minerals “There are some studies that suggest positive effects on the immune system, weight loss, muscle cramping and reducing cholesterol levels when combined with adequate water.” by Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer, Accessed August 2019.

Celtic salt, helps to balance electrolytes and balancing electrolytes promotes better sleep and has a higher iron and lower levels of sodium.

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