Salt By Any Other Name…
Salt, or sodium chloride (thus referred to as sodium on package labels) has continued to gain a bad reputation in today’s increasingly health-conscious society. Few realise however, that salt is actually an essential nutrient – needed by the body to perform
- Helps the Body to Retain Water
- Stimulates Muscle Contraction
- Contains Vital Nutrients that Helps the Digestive System
- Helps to Control Blood Pressure
The Dangers of Too Little Salt…
New research actually concludes that too little salt can be just as dangerous as too much. In fact, sodium deficiency can cause:
- Blood Pressure to Drop Too Low
- Disturbances in Tissue-Water & Acid-Base Balance
The Dangers of Too Much Salt…
- High Blood Pressure
- Kidney Disease
- Heart Failure
- Kidney Stones
Salt vs. Sodium Formula…
When reading a nutritional label – the amount of sodium is sometimes listed rather than the amount of salt. The simple figure to calculate salt from sodium is as follows:
Salt = Sodium x 2.5
So what’s the ideal amount that you should take on board?
According to NHS.uk adults should have no more than 6g of salt per day – around a teaspoon full. Children should have less than this.
When reading a nutrition label ‘high’ salt is more than 1.5 g of salt per 100g (or 0.6g sodium) while items on the ‘low’ scale would read 0.3g of salt or less per 100g (or 0.1g sodium).
Best times to take salt…
Because you lose salt when you sweat – it is important to keep your salt intake balanced when you are working out.
If you are engaged in an intense workout, particularly if it is hot & you are sweating a great deal, watch for signs of extreme dehydration or fatigue – this could mean that your salt is overly depleted.
At this time you could reach for a sports drink (look for the cleanest option not containing a list of words you cant pronounce or loaded with sugar) – this will not only replenish your salts but also your electrolytes.
Be aware that high sugar drinks will raise your cortisol levels (stress hormone) & suppress your immune system. This is the exact opposite of what you want to be happening post workout!
When On A High Protein Diet…
A high protein diet will deplete sodium levels due to sodium being an essential part of the digestive process. So it is advisable to ingest plenty of salt with each high protein meal – depending on personal conditions. Always check with your doctor to see what is recommended for your body.
“If you are not in good health you cannot fully enjoy anything”
– Daniel Grant
What Type Of Salt Is Best…
Cheap table salt is more like a poison to your body – do not use it – ever. Simply avoid it at all costs.
However, quality sea salt contains all the health benefits you want from salt, it also tastes much better.
The little extra it costs is well worth the investment…
To Your Best Health
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