Is Limiting Salt Intake for You?
For many, reducing salt intake is a must due to health problems in which an excess of sodium can be detrimental, such as those with high blood pressure or individuals who may be sensitive to salt. Yet, it is important to keep in mind that not all salt is created equal and does not provide the same results.
Unrefined salts are a great option because unrefined salts are not stripped of the natural occurring minerals, isn’t heavily processed, nor added toxic additives as is the case with table salt. In fact, salts such as sea salt and Himalayan salt are the healthiest because the salts are left as harvested and found to contain at least 60 minerals beneficial to one’s health.
Yet, there still remains confusion and controversy of whether salt intake should be limited or not. It is important to note that restrictive salt intake is not for everyone.
In fact, restrictive sodium intake can also be a problem because our bodies depend on sodium for some of the most important functions such as:
Brain function: Sodium is vital for helping transmit nerve signals throughout the body, including the brain. Therefore, not getting enough sodium can contribute to poor memory function and lack of concentration.
Digestion: The chloride component found in salt helps produce stomach acid, which assists in digestion and helps to kill harmful bacteria that enters the gut.
Bone health: Sodium is necessary to help the body retain magnesium and calcium, which are important to strong, healthy bones.
Athletic performance: For athletes, electrolytes are essential for good performance and keeping the body well hydrated. And sodium is one of the electrolytes needed to keep the body well hydrated, especially at at time of strenuous exercise.
So how much salt is recommended?
According to the American Heart Association, adults should limit consumption to 2,300 mg per day, which equals to about 1 teaspoon of salt. However, this depends on the individual’s health as well as lifestyle factor such as diet and caffeine consumption, exercise, and medications to name a few. Therefore, it is important to consult with your provider before restricting or increasing salt intake and find what works for you.