Healthy Living

How Much Salt Do We Need In Our Diet?

At this point, we’re all very aware that too much salt is very bad for our bodies. Excess sodium causes the extra water in our bodies to raise blood pressure, which can then lead to a myriad of other problems. This raises the risk of developing strokes, dementia, kidney disease and heart attacks in the future.

There are a slew of other reasons, but the bottom line is: too much salt is bad, and it should be taken in moderation.

But did you know that on the other hand, consuming too little salt can also be harmful?

That’s right, since various studies point out that insufficient salt in our bodies can lead to insufficient water to properly regulate our blood volume. If we drink too much water without consuming enough sodium (or salt), our blood then becomes more diluted than our cells.  This would push our kidneys to eliminate the water that it now sees as excess, pushing it out as urine. The result afterwards is dehydration, and this would continue no matter how much water we drink.

Furthermore, studies also state that those who sweat heavily during work and exercise, have normal heart and kidney function, have normal or low blood pressure and consume a diet that is very low in sodium are at higher risk of getting insufficient sodium in their systems.

So how much salt do we need?

According to a recommendation from the American Heart Association, people should consume no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day and moving toward an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults.

These days, the great majority of people living in the United States get their sodium needs from commercially processed foods, amounting to about 80 percent of it. However, this is not healthy because processed foods shouldn’t be part of our diet.

For a healthier option, opt for a diet that consists of home-cooked and plant-based foods, with just the right amount of salt to meet our sodium needs. Moderation is key, and finding the balance between can help us be much healthier moving forward.

Salt Shaker The findings have stirred debate, especially among experts who support reducing salt intake to the lowest levels possible. Max Pixel

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