Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Salt is not Evil

However, too much or too little can be bad for you.

Salt is necessary to prevent dehydration, for proper transmission of nerve impulses and for normal functioning of cells. If we ate no salt, we would die. It may help reduce stress. It may also aid in growth. Scientist from the New Jersey School of Medicine discovered that too little salt may inhibit bone and muscle growth. Some people with disorders such as Addison’s Disease (an adrenal disorder resulting in low blood pressure among many other symptoms) suffer dire consequences if they consume too little salt.

On the other side of the coin, too much salt can cause high blood pressure in people who have “salt sensitivity”. (About 50% of the population (remember when it was thought to cause high blood pressure in everybody?)

Government recommendations suggest no more than 2300mg of salt per day. If you are diabetic or have high blood pressure you should consume not more than 1500 mg per day.

However, on average, we consume about 3400mg of salt per day. And the problem is seldom caused by people adding salt to their food. It’s more closely linked to added salt in the processed food we eat.

·       Processed sandwich meats (even turkey) contains 610 mg of salt in 5 thin slices
·       One slice of cheddar cheese-180mg
·       You don’t think of bread being salty? 1 slice contains about 250mg of salt
·       Canned vegetables-1 cup of canned green beans contains over 800mg of sodium! (You can reduce that by 40% if you drain the liquid.)

The list goes on and on.

What’s the takeaway? Just like everything else in life, practice a little moderation. Too little or too much can get you in trouble.

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