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Salt – is good or bad?

The question is whether reducing sodium will make you healthier.

You hear this everywhere – reduce the amount of salt you use, as it is not healthy. Well, it is not a new debate whether salt is healthy or not, all what is happening is that the debate has increased. In the end, as the researchers debate the different aspects, consumers are left confused about what recommendations to follow.

One group of researchers recently stated that “cutting down on the amount of salt has no clear benefits.” A week later, another group of researchers declared “a diet high in sodium increases risk of death from all causes.”

So, what is the big deal about sodium?

Part of the mix-up lies in trying to produce a one fit solution for everyone. For people that are sensitive to sodium, consuming too much salt can increase their blood pressure and in fact can be life threatening.

It is also important to note that you can be salt sensitive if you are:

  • Over 50
  • Overweight
  • African American
  • Have impaired kidney function

In addition, indivuals that have high blood pressure or any further reason to claim that they might be sensitive to sodium are commonly advised to stick to low sodium intake. More so to keep their sodium intake is to keep it below 1,500mg per day. On the other hand, just a half a teaspoon of regular table salt. This is logical.

Then again, we could ask if other people are immune to the impact of salt

Some might be sensitive to salt, other might not be. There are people that consume three times more salt than others. This without even raising their blood pressure. This could be due to lucky genetics, but also what they are eating. That is since you need to look at the rest of the diet to grasp if people are consuming too much salt and what the impact will be.

Your diet and your lifestyle will affect how you can tolerate salt

For instance, if your diet comprises a lot of potassium, which we get from veggies and fruits, dairy products, and other whole foods, it seems to counter the effects of high sodium intake. Obviously, there are countless other benefits to eating more veggies and fruits, if not redcuing processed foods.

There is also some fascinating research suggesting that our bodies could handle more sodium from food when our diet is high in sugar. That would mean even if you are not predominantly salt sensitive, there are a lot of other noble reasons to limit your sugar intake.

Plus, lifestyle plays a part as well. You lose a great deal of salt when you training, and particularly when you perspire. Then, if you lead an active lifestyle, you can handle more salt compared to those that do not. Being more active additional aids you uphold a healthy body weight, which can lessen your risk of high blood pressure.

Easy tips for keeping your sodium intake in check

Ignoring the whole salt debate, since it seems like the researchers are not able to suggest a solid recommendation without it been questioned. Here are some principles that you can apply, which actually will work on anyone:

Limit processed and prepared food. These include fast food and snack foods. In fact, 80 percent of your salt infused diet will come from these type of foods. But reducing them are the easiest way to cut your sodium consumption. In addition, these foods are low in nutritional value, high in fat, and sugar.

Eat a lot more fresh fruits and vegetables. These type of foods are high in potassium. This mineral will counters the effects of salt, plus it will aid in regulating your blood pressure. But fruits and vegetables are packed with all types of other nutrients, so these are healthy addition to your diet. In addition, they are low in calorie, which is good for weight control.

Train and maintain a healthy body weight. Working out and keeping your weight down will decrease your risk of high blood pressure and salt sensitivity, and also reduce your risk of a long list of diseases and conditions.

About Jacques Dippenaar

Jacques is an influential health blogger and researcher helping readers explore interesting facts and information.

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