LifeHakx - The Answer to "Sodium is always bad for you."
By Eva Wisenbeck 08/12/2019
True or False? Salt is bad for you.
Truth: You need more healthy salt than dietary guidelines suggest, but you don’t need too much.
Solution: Choose your salt wisely, go for sea salt or mineral salt.
Top tip as to how to reduce the “bad salt” is to not buy too many ready meals and processed products with lots of hidden salt. Just Eat Real Food (hint: no labels or few ingredients!) and add healthy types of salt as a seasoning yourself.
Josh Axe says “Sodium, or salt, has been quite the scapegoat for heart disease for a long time. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend Americans consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium each day (preferably no more than 1,500), which is equal to 5.75 grams or just under 1.25 teaspoons of salt.
And Chris Kresser says “While salt recommendations vary between individuals based on age, gender, physical activity, and health conditions, I feel that the data supports an intake between 3000 and 7000 milligrams of sodium, or 1.5 to 3.5 teaspoons of salt, per day.”
So which types of salt are good for us?
I’m actually going to start with saying this, regular table salt is not good for you. It is heavily processed, generally devoid of trace minerals, and commonly contains additives such as anti-caking agents like sodium silicoaluminate or sodium ferrocyanide.
Better choices would be sea salt and mineral salt. As always quality does matter, see what is available locally and do some research.
There are also natural food sources of sodium such as sea vegetables (seaweed), fish, shellfish, and meat, as well as some plants such as beets, carrots, celery, spinach, and turnips.
This is why for example celery and cucumber juice is often said to help replenish salts.
So does anyone have to worry about their salt consumption?
Well, as with everything, nothing is just black and white. So yes if for example you have serious health issues such as compromised kidney function, or are prone to kidney stones then yes you should look at your salt intake.
At this point I'll also mention that the 'mantra' to cut salt if you have high blood pressure isn't necessarily true, there are studies showing both a possible increase and a possible drop with salt consumption. It really depends on your body and the type and quality of salt. There is a very small proportion of the population who have inherited salt sensitivity, thought to be caused primarily by impaired sodium transport in the kidney, who do have to be careful.
As always please consult with your health professional!
If you are curios take a look at this interview where Functional Medicine doctor Mark Hyman interviews James J. DiNicolantonio, PharmD, author of The Salt Fix:
This blog is based on a wonderful article by the great Dr Josh Axe and his roundup of “The 11 Largest Nutrition Lies In the Media” for more details and links to the research papers and studies please look here: https://draxe.com/health/nutrition-lies/
If you are curious and would like more information about the whole salt debate and the latest research here are some great resources.
Chris Kresser “Shaking up the Salt Myth: The Human Need for Salt” https://chriskresser.com/shaking-up-the-salt-myth-the-human-need-for-salt/
Chris Kresser “Shaking up the Salt Myth: The Dangers of Salt Restriction” https://chriskresser.com/shaking-up-the-salt-myth-the-dangers-of-salt-restriction/
Chris Kresser “Shaking up the Salt Myth: When Salt Reduction May Be Warranted” https://chriskresser.com/shaking-up-the-salt-myth-when-salt-reduction-may-be-warranted/
Chris Kresser “Shaking up the Salt Myth: Healthy Salt Recommendations” https://chriskresser.com/shaking-up-the-salt-myth-healthy-salt-recommendations/
Mark Hyman, interview with James J. DiNicolantonio, PharmD, author of The Salt Fix “The downside of a low salt diet” https://drhyman.com/blog/2017/11/03/downside-low-salt-diet/
Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple “Pepper and Salt: Not So Basic After All” https://www.marksdailyapple.com/pepper-and-salt-varieties/