It is true that lowering the content in the diet can lower blood pressure, but you can not claim that this action reduces the risk of developing heart disease and premature death.
Do we really need to avoid salt?
The recommended dose of sodium in the diet is 1500-2300 mg per day. 1500 mg of sodium corresponds to ¾ teaspoon of salt (3.75 g of salt). 2300 mg is in one teaspoon of salt (6 g).
The average person eats about 3400 mg of salt a day, salting hand-made dishes and eating processed foods. This means that according to different organizations involved in setting human nutrition standards, almost everyone should limit salt intake. Only, does the salt really hurt us? Can limiting its consumption have a significant impact on our health?
Sodium is a key electrolyte for the body. Many natural foods contain it, but the majority of sodium in the diet comes from salt, which consists of 40% sodium and 60% chlorine. Sodium retains water in the body (which raises blood pressure) and maintains intra and extracellular fluids in balance. Along with potassium, it provides the correct electric charge on cell membranes, which is the absolute basis for the proper functioning of the nervous system and muscle work. Our organisms can not function properly without sodium.
Where is the truth?
It is true that reducing salt in the diet lowers blood pressure. In people suffering from hypertension, reduction of salt in the diet results in a decrease in systolic blood pressure by an average of 5.39 mm Hg and diastolic pressure by 2.92 mm Hg. In people with normal blood pressure, the reduction is 2.42 and 1.00 mm Hg, respectively.
It’s not much, right? However, each of us has heard about the fact that one should avoid salt in the diet, because its excess (according to the standards of 2,300 mg per day) causes serious illness. At this point it is worth mentioning that hypertension does not kill, is not the cause of disease but a risk factor for the development of diseases. Thus, effective reduction of blood pressure does not preclude the development of the disease, especially if it causes other adverse effects.
What happens when we limit the amount of salt in the diet in spite of everything?
Unfortunately, nothing good. We recommend getting to know the research in an inquisitive way.
The recommendation to reduce salt intake is useless for most people, and for some it can be harmful. So what are the consequences of too little sodium in the diet?
– increase in the level of bad LDL cholesterol (by nearly 5%) and triglycerides (by nearly 6%),
– insulin resistance – after 7 days of refusing sodium, you can make the body less sensitive to insulin. Insulin resistance is the cause of obesity, type II diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
– electrolyte disturbances – particularly unfavorable or even dangerous for athletes and people who lead an active lifestyle,
Applications if you are a person of normal weight, have good health, and in addition you are physically active, you do not have to lower the salt content in the diet.