We’ve been told that salt causes high blood pressure, cardiac disease and heart problems. And the US Department of Agriculture says it’s worse than fats, sugar and alcohol.
A meta-analysis published last August in the American Journal of Hypertension found no evidence that cutting sodium intake in people with normal or high blood pressure reduces the risk of heart attacks or strokes. And the authors of a study published last May in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that eating less salt was associated with an increase in deaths from heart disease.
Just the opposite, a sodium deficiency could lead to a host of other problems associated with disrupted hormonal functions and has been linked to increased triglyceride levels and insulin resistance.
When you have too little minerals, like sodium, you end up with high blood pressure!
However, individual sodium needs and responses vary greatly. And this is where the debate comes in. Dietary factors like potassium and water intake, as well as activity levels and genetic predispositions can determine sodium needs.
For most of my life, until recently, I too believed salt was my enemy. Here’s how I came across the truth:
I was overtraining and started experiencing symptoms of adrenal fatigue. When I began researching ways to repair my adrenals here is what I discovered…
”The majority of people with adrenal fatigue have low blood pressure, not high. Salt is a welcome addition to the diet in adrenal fatigue because it not only helps increase blood pressure, but also helps restore some of the other functions related to sodium loss within the cells, including dehydration.”1
”In adrenal fatigue, the craving for salt is a direct result of the lack of adequate aldosterone. This controls sodium, potassium and fluid volumes in your body.”2
”Most of the physiological reactions in the body depend in some way on the flow or concentration of electrolytes. The cells need to maintain a 15:1 ratio of potassium to sodium. Generally, adding potassium will offset the balance since already high so adding sodium will achieve that balance.”3
I’ve blogged about this before (please refer to previous posts on Adrenal Fatigue).
Plain old refined salt – yes bad. This is the stuff you find in processed foods.
The good stuff- Unrefined sea salt:
•helps to balance your blood sugar
•helps keep your bones strong
•regulates your metabolism
•boosts your immune system
•keeps the fluid levels in our bodies balanced
•provides a number of nutrients and minerals, in a way that the body recognizes and knows how to use.
•Without salt, our heart cannot contract normally, thus damaging our valves
Yes I know, so much of the food we eat today is gouged with salt, iodized salt, and therein lies the real problem. Try ditching things like sugar, trans fats, processed flours, processed grains, PROCESSED FOODS! All of which will likely have a larger impact on your overall health.
Stick to REAL whole foods and use REAL quality sea salt.
Moderation is still the key. This doesn’t mean drown your food in sea salt either. It means give your food some flavor and be reasonable.
Follow your craving and shake out the salt!
GO for Life! ™
In peace, health & with much love,
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer
#1#2#3 -Please reference Adrenal Fatigue, The 21st Century Stress Syndrome, By James L. Wilson