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The Effects of Sodium on Your Health

The Effects of Sodium on Your Health

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sodium(OrganicJar) The salt, or sodium, in your diet directly affects your blood pressure levels. Generally, the higher your daily salt intake, the higher your blood pressure. However, because each person is unique, your body’s response to reducing salt in your diet may reduce your blood pressure to a different degree than someone else. Still, eating less salt isn’t harmful and will likely be beneficial to your health. Most people actually become more “salt sensitive” as they age, with larger changes in blood pressure. The recommended amount of salt for healthy adults is between 1500 and 2300 milligrams (about 1 tsp.) a day.

Reducing Salt in Your Diet

As much as 80 percent of the salt you eat comes from prepared foods. If you eat mostly unprocessed food, you will have more control over your salt intake. Keep in mind that we can “unlearn” our taste for salt. Food that was once salty enough will seem too salty after a short time of reducing salt intake.

Salt Reduction Tips:

  • Taste your food before you add salt. It might not need it,
  • Don’t put salt shakers on your table. Our response to salt shakers is almost a reflex reaction,
  • Take your salt out of the original packaging so it’s easier to control how much you use,
  • Look for “reduced salt” or “low sodium” versions of prepared foods you buy. You can always add salt, but you can’t take it away.

The Difference Between Salt and Sea Salt

I am often asked if sea salt is healthier than regular salt. They basically have the same nutritional value and consist of two minerals — sodium and chloride. The real differences between sea salt and table salt are in their taste, texture and processing, not their chemical makeup. Sea salt is evaporated from seawater and has no additives. Sea salt comes in either fine or coarse grains, and because of its mineral content, the taste is somewhat different from regular salt. Table salt is mined from mineral deposits. Fine-grained table salt often contains added iodine, which is good for thyroid functions. Some food companies put an anti-caking ingredient in table salt.

Current Research on Salt

According to a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a recent study of more than 11,000 European men and women found that people who ingested and excreted more salt had higher blood pressure, regardless of genetics. The good news about this study was that a large group of people participated—one criticism was that the hypothesis was reasonable, but only one gene was tested. Regardless of the genetic question surrounding high blood pressure, your genes are something you can’t change. The study proves that salt intake raises blood pressure and you do have control over how much salt you eat. Left untreated, high blood pressure increases the risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. So think twice before you add all that salt to your next meal or Margarita.

Leave a Comment and Tell Us Your Thoughts?

Source: innerrewards.com

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  1. I have been on a pet personal mission to help clarify some of this terminology so that we can all benefit. First off, sodium, pure sodium without anything fastened to it, is an essential electrolytic mineral (like magnesium, potassium, calcium) which is found in all of our cells, our dna, our stomach mucosa where it is used to produce hydrochloric acid, in the gallbladder where it keeps calcium moist and helps produce alkalizing bile, in our joints, and it helps keep our blood at a desired ph level. It is ESSENTIAL to our existence. Sodium is found in abundance in organic celery, sea vegetables like dulse, kelp, marine phytoplankton, aloe gel, goji berries, and others. Salt, whether it is harvested from the coast of France (“Celtic”) or dried ancient sea beds (like Himalayan rock salt) contains the mineral sodium but also usually up to 80 other trace minerals that the body utilizes. Table salt, what most people think of as salt and erroneously call “sodium” is salt that has been processed and stripped of all those minerals. The sodium is then ionically bonded to a naturally occurring gas called chlorine. The result is a new toxic substance called sodium chloride. The body is unable to digest this substance. It actually pulls the electrolyte sodium from our natural reserve in order to neutralize the toxin and flush it out of our body. Here is a simple experiment called a “salt water flush”. Put a couple of table spoons of sodium chloride in a gallon of water and drink the whole thing. It will pass right through the digestive tract within an hour. Now put the same amount of Celtic or Himalayan salt in the same amount of water. One, it doesn’t taste as bad, and two, the body can metabolize it. I encourage everyone to reconsider the use of these words in their own language and to share this with others as it is one of the greatest health frauds we are witnessing, the idea that sodium is bad for us, and that if something is “sodium free” it is good for us!

    Sodium is used to buffer acids and feed friendly bacteria. When we don’t have enough sodium in our diet, our body starts to pull it out from the stomach mucosa, which causes hydrochloric acid to weaken leading to poor digestion of proteins, from the gall bladder, where it keeps calcium moist thus preventing gallstones, from our joints, from our cells, slowing down the electric charge between cells, and possibly from our dna if it has to. Since the standard American diet is lacking in sodium and high in sodium chloride and other acid forming foods, the resulting sodium DEFICIENCY is a major health concern as it has a cascading effect on our health.

  2. More accurately blood pressure relates to blood viscosity. In other words the level of dissolved solids in blood. Lymph fluid is the same.

    The easiest way to balance blood pressure and sugar, sometimes in a matter of minutes, is simple hydration.

    You can test this yourself using a Glucose Meter or Blood Pressure cup.

    Check your levels then drink a 1 liter of water an hour for 4 hours. You’ll be amazed what occurs.

  3. I cannot believe how much salt everything has! Even low fat cottage cheese, healthy, has alot in one half cup; even Wasa bread, healthy, has 80 mg of sodium in one little cracker. No matter what you eat, 1000 mg is easy to reach and that is the low end of the spectrum. Americans eat way too much salt and don’t know it, then they have a stroke!

  4. thanks for your GREAT comment! :)

  5. Scott,

    Isn’t sodium chloride the form of salt that is naturally found in seawater? I would agree that table salt has been stripped of other minerals like you mention, but sodium chloride is not a man-made compound.

  6. jeff,,,this is true, but i believe it may also be man-made,,,like vitamins,,,i live in chicago where the morton salt company is located and i’m hoping to schedule a tour and learn more,,,hopefully my limited understanding of chemistry will be overcome and i’ll be able to better discuss this issue,,,ultimately, the point is that we can come to a better understanding if we stop saying “salt” or “sodium” when we mean “sodium chloride” as they all are different,,,

  7. I found out the hard way why not to cut salt or sodium out of my diet completely. I have a genetic immune system disorder and have to have monthly infusions to get my antibodies up. I had went on a natural diet based of the BBC show You are What You Eat. After 3 months I had lost 20 lbs and was feeling good, but 4 months later I was not doing so good. My blood pressure would drop really low while I was asleep during my infusion and the nurses had a hard time waking me up. At one point my blood pressure dropped to 58/40 NOT GOOD! After I though about it I was not using any type of salt on my food. I did not eat out I cooked all my stuff myself that way it was not overcooked and retained it nutrients. Well I started adding salt back, it was hard at first but now everything is back to normal. I use kosher salt or sea salt when I cook. Your electrolytes balance is very important to you body and when one of them is too low it can damage you body. All I can say moderation…

  8. I often find that many of my patients have a “salt”/sodium deficiency. This occurs often because of chronic stress. As a result the adrenal glands favor the output of cortisol as opposed to aldosterone, the hormone responsible for retaining sodium and water and releasing potassium. This often results in lower aldosterone, thus lower blood volume and lower blood pressure. I see more low blood pressure, chronically-stressed and exhausted patients, than patients with high blood pressure. Perhaps I see patients who’ve been in New York for a while and are completely drained as opposed to those who have just moved there. I hope those of you in NY take that as the joke it’s meant to be. But yes, good clean himalayan or sea salt is always recommended over “table salt”. Also, look at salt “packets”, they often contain an aluminum compound. Aluminum is highly toxic, as you know!

  9. Yes. Salt & Water are our primary Super Foods.

    Sufficient quantity & quality is essential for thrival.

    When Yemiah & I were hosting 1+ weekly events and booking 100+ weekly client practice hours we did experiments. We’d serve people Chocolate Bliss we package and have them taste different products we import.

    Salt was the primary Super Food people craved. Some people would just pour some in their hand and lick it like stock animals at a salt lick, from my youth growing up on a working cattle ranch.

    Chocolate Bliss was most people’s first craving, followed closely by Salt, then with women Hemp Seeds + Bee Pollen.

    Rule of thumb. Salt cravings == salt deficiency.

    Same with hunger. No requirement to consider calories or nutrient profile (by reading labels or doing math).

    You know your nourished when you forget to eat for hours or days. This is the only useful indicator for a person being nourished.

    People living with constant hunger or cravings are either malnourished, dehydrated or most likely both.

    Dehydration is the next big one. When we were seeing new clients I’d pour a person a 16oz glass of water. If they sipped it and their skin showed signs of dryness, I knew it was time to bring their hydration upscale.

  10. I would suggest visiting salthealth.org, a new website devoted to sodium and nutriion.

  11. I supplement with a 1/2 tsp of RealSalt everyday and salt my food liberally with natural salt…

    I don’t eat food that is processed or prepared before it enters my kitchen.

    if I don’t my blood pressure is about 70/30…supplementing with salt bring it up to a tolerable level.

  12. I hope those of you in NY take that as the joke it’s meant to be. But yes, good clean himalayan or sea salt is always recommended over “table salt”. Also, look at salt “packets”, they often contain an aluminum compound. Aluminum is highly toxic, as you know!


  13. Sodium has positive benefits for the body as well as plenty of negative ones. Because lots of people like the taste of salt, they may find themselves adding salt to food that is already salty.


  14. It had been quite useful. thank you so much for posting it. I am going to share it with my friends. Thanks

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