No one can deny. We all have had it. Salt in our salads. Salt in our steaks. There’s even salt in candy and tuna flakes. Salt is a ubiquitous guilty pressure. I mean how can you live without this glorious condiment.
But when is enough actually enough? Can you gobble up a sea of salt during your lifetime? We are here to talk about everything salt. And this is why too much is bad for you.
Salt is Essential (To be Specific, Sodium is.)
Before you make hate campaigns about salt, know that it is essential for our body. The Sodium part of salt to be specific.
Sodium allows the body to smoothen nerve transmission and muscular contraction. Without it, your body would have difficulty in executing these normal mechanisms.
But How Much is Too Much?
The fuss is about taking up so much. Research has shown that heightened levels of sodium put us in a substantial risk of high blood pressure, stomach cancer, stomach cancer, liver disease, and kidney disease.
The excess in sodium makes our body hold more fluid in the body. This later increases blood pressure by adding more stress to the heart.
So how much should we be taking? Multiple health organizations pegged healthy salt intake to 2300 milligrams (roughly one teaspoon) every day. For people who are older or with high blood pressure, this plummets to 1500 milligrams per day.
Sodium versus Potassium
So we should just stop taking salt right? Not quite. Contrary to what we all know, salt intake is just half of the picture.
Our body is intricately designed to function properly. A balance of multiple chemicals and elements are needed. As with sodium, there should be a harmonic balance with potassium.
This study found out that you are most likely getting 50% more risk of a heart attack when you have high sodium intake and low potassium consumption.
Potassium can relax the blood vessels and helps the kidney take out the excess sodium. The body needs 4700 milligrams per day to contribute to a healthy cleansing system.
What’s alarming is that the opposite is present in almost everyone. With all the salt around, if you’re an American, they take 3,300 milligrams of sodium every day compared to just 2,900 milligrams of potassium. How much more for countries that really love salty food (Hello Philippines!).
A double whammy: so much sodium increases the risk of hypertension and the absence of potassium that combats this risk. It’s definitely a silent killer.
The Real Solution: A Healthy Lifestyle in General
So what do we do to combat this? For starters, you can decrease salt intake. Avoid salty and processed foods by eating clean and healthy.
If you don’t want to part ways with salt, then you should devour every fruit and vegetable you can find. Good sources of potassium are in those leafy greens and citrus fruits. Salmon is also a great choice if you need more meat in your life.
Likewise, maintaining a healthy body weight by exercising is also a perfect precautionary measure. Try these fitness tips if you can.
In fact, with everything above in place, you don’t even need to care about salt anymore. With a healthy body, it automatically flushes out excessive and harmful substances from our insides.
So go on, eat (healthily) whatever you want! No one is stopping you.