Salt – How Much Is Too Much?
Salt has become one of the nutrients in food that has often been seen negatively. Although, excessive consumption of salt can lead to unwanted side effects – salt is still a very important micronutrient for the body. It is very important as salt provides sodium, which is regulated in the body.
Salt, also known as sodium chloride, serves a variety of functions in the body. For example:
- Muscle contraction
- Fluid balance
- Carrying nerve impulses
But just what is your daily recommended intake?
It is often thought to be between 2-4 grams of salt per day. However, for children under the age of 10 and adults above the age of 65, the daily needs may drop even further.
What happens if you have too much? In short it can lead to high blood pressure – this is because you kidneys cannot get rid of the excess and water binds to sodium meaning the overall volume increase. If this is sustained, high blood pressure can have a lot of consequences for your health, for example:
- Worsened kidney function
- Kidney stones
- Cardiovascular problems
Many foods contain salt but mostly it is processed or canned foods. A few examples are canned meats, chips, pizza, canned beans and pickles. Most natural foods however, such as grass-fed beef, have a naturally low sodium content, putting them in the category of the safest foods to consume.
What do you need to remember? I’m not saying to cut out salt from your diet, what I am doing is to make sure you have balance and knowledge of what you are eating. Salt is essential for our bodies, physically and mentally, as we need the sodium. So go ahead and try it out for yourself and see what amount of salt is ideal for you – if you workout a lot and therefore, sweat loads then go towards the higher end of the scale.
Take all the information I have given you today with a pinch of salt.
Now take care and stay safe.