Why High And Low Salt Diets Can Be Unhealthy

Just like most Americans, I was using too much salt. This was iodized sea as well as Himalayan pink. Too much of these so called ‘healthier’ salts can be as unhealthy as regular table salt. Eating the way most Americans do makes sodium add up a lot faster than you might think.

Did you know, too much sodium can increase your risk of…

  •  Stomach cancer
  •  Kidney stones
  •  Osteoporosis

So, how much salt a day should one not go over? Our CDC says most Americans consume more than 3,400 mg a day. With most adult men it is 4,240 mg and women 2,980 mg.

The ‘dietary guidelines for Americans 2015-2020’ recommends no more than 2,300 mg of sodium a day (2300 mg equals about a teaspoon of salt.)

‘For all adult men, the average intake is 4,240 mg, and for
adult women, the average is 2,980 mg per day. Only a small proportion of total sodium intake is from sodium inherent in foods or from salt added in home cooking or at the table. Most sodium consumed in the United States comes from salts added during commercial food processing and preparation [found in page 58 of the 2015-2020_Dietary_Guidelines]’.

From what I’ve read, the body requires about 500 mg a day (less than a 1/4 teaspoon) to operate properly. So, salt can be a good thing using a smaller amount of it.

‘The WHO strongly recommended to reduce dietary salt intake as one of the top priority actions to tackle the global non-communicable disease crisis and has urged member nations to take action to reduce population wide dietary salt intake to decrease the number of deaths from hypertension, cardiovascular disease and stroke. However, some scientists still advocate the possibility of increased risk of CVD morbidity and mortality at extremes of low salt intake [1 ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4105387/]’.

Sodium is naturally in plant based whole food. A good example is celery. If you have hypertension or prehypertensionum think about following the DASH eating plan at the lower-sodium option of 1,500 mg per day.

But beware, that if you happen to live in a hot climate area, you would have to be careful to get enough sodium. For example, throughout the day, one could add salt to the water he drinks. Yet, at the same time, one should not drink too much water…

‘Water intoxication, also known as dilutional hyponatremia, develops only because the intake of water exceeds the kidney’s ability to eliminate water [3 ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4027093/]’.

Tips to reduce salt intake

  • Sodium can add up quickly throughout the day, especially if you eat processed and refined foods at home and eat out often
  • Solution: Cook from scratch as often as you can
  • Bring a lunch with you to work
  • Use spices without salt like garlic and onion powder
  • Use lemon juice
  • Try pepper or hot sauce
  • The amount of sodium our bodies require can come from natural sources like fruits and vegetables

‘The health outcomes reviewed by the committee include cardiovascular disease (CVD), including stroke CVD mortality and all-cause mortality, congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic kidney disease (CKD), diabetes, cancer, and “other” outcomes, such as asthma and depression [4 ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK201520/]’.

So, as you can see, there needs to be balance in the diet. We shall let common sense be our guide.

“Therefore, you will see it healthier dumping the salty crackers and chips eating largely a plant based whole food diet. This way you are certain there isn’t added salt in foods you are eating. Using a salt shaker ‘sparingly’ is the better choice. You are then in charge of the amount of salt you choose to ingest”. ~ your author

Source- 1 URL ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4105387/
Website Title Electrolyte & blood pressure : E & BP
Publication Month June
Publication Year 2014
Article Title Dietary salt intake and hypertension
Date Accessed July 02, 2019

2 URL cdc.gov/salt/pdfs/Sodium_Dietary_Guidelines.pdf
Access Day 25
Access Month june
Access Year 2019
Article Title GET THE FACTS – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

3 URL ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4027093/
Website Title Annals of pediatric endocrinology & metabolism
Publication Month June
Publication Year 2013
Article Title Hyponatremia caused by excessive intake of water as a form of child abuse
Date Accessed July 02, 2019

4 URL ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK201520/
Website Title Sodium Intake in Populations: Assessment of Evidence.
Article Title Sodium Intake and Health Outcomes
Date Published August 27, 2013
Date Accessed June 30, 2019

Note- consult your doctor before you change your diet. Too much, even not enough sodium can be dangerous to ones health.


4 thoughts on “Why High And Low Salt Diets Can Be Unhealthy

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