Salt (sodium chloride) – Killer or Lifesaver. Ponder these 5 points and judge for yourself.
You and I have been told for many years now, to stave off high blood pressure and heart disease, and for overall better health, “drink your body weight, in ounces of water, per day; exercise vigorously; and cut back on our salt intake.” I assure you that all three of the pieces of, sound medical advice, will create a deficiency in sodium and other electrolytes – if not replaced back. Add-in our morning coffee and afternoon soda, both diuretics, most prescription medications, mental stress, and you have the perfect storm for an electrolyte disaster and the exact environment for disease to manifest.
Below are my top FIVE facts on salt.
1. Myth – Excess salt (sodium chloride) causes high blood pressure.
This myth put into context – yes, if all you ever ate was salt-rich foods, void of all other trace minerals; no fresh fruit or vegetables, then you may develop high blood pressure.
The Truth – This review summarizes the observational data from several large databases showing that when adults meet or exceed the recommended dietary allowances of calcium, potassium, and magnesium, the simultaneous ingestion of a diet high in sodium chloride is not associated with elevated arterial pressure. In fact, a higher sodium chloride intake in these adults is most likely associated with the lowest blood pressure in the society. The role of adequate dietary calcium intake in the prevention and management of salt-sensitive hypertension – PubMed.
Lifesaving number 2
2. Salt is mandatory for vibrant health and vitality – you will die without it.
- Sodium’s optimum level is 143-145 mmol/l on a routine blood test. The lower it is the worse-off your health will be. When it’s under 140 real health problems can develope – now or in the future. (many doctors and cardiologists may not agree, but the truth is the truth).
- Sodium is one of the major components of our blood plasma, lymphatic fluid, extracellular fluid, and even amniotic fluid.
- Sodium is mandatory for protein (peptides), sugars and water to move from the small intestine into the blood stream. This is part of the digestion and assimilation of food.
- Sodium, along with potassium, regulate our blood pressure.
- Sodium helps our brain to communicate with our muscles so that we can move – when we want to.
- Chloride, in the form of hydrochloric acid (HCl), is also an important component of gastric juice, which aids the digestion and absorption of many nutrients
- Changes in one’s mood, appetite and vitality are among the first noticeable manifestations of sodium deficiency, yet the cause is often missed.
- Other symptoms of low sodium are Nausea, vomiting, and changes in appetite, headache, confusion, hallucinations, loss of energy, fatigue, urinary incontinence, nervousness, restlessness and irritability, muscle weakness, spasms or cramps, seizures, and unconsciousness.
Salt – Fats and Sugar
3. A meta-analysis reviewing data from 1966-2001 showed that a low-sodium diet compared to a high sodium diet resulted in a 12% increased in triglycerides (the main constituent of fat in the blood and body), a 4.6% increase in LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and a 5.4% increase in total cholesterol.
4. Insulin resistance and type II diabetes: Researchers concluded, In one study, that just 7 days on a low sodium diet increased insulin resistance, a leading cause of obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Another study found that in patients with type II diabetes, less sodium was associated with an increased risk of death.
Wonderful number 5
5. Salt is of vital importance for our sexuality, libido, and reproductive success. Aphrodite, sex and salt – from butterfly to man. This is a great read!
Conclusion: If you are advised by your physician to follow a low-sodium diet, even after you show him this email, follow his directions – or change doctors.
If you do not fall into the above category, I recommend that use “real” salt liberally. I do and so does my family. My preferred choice, for many reasons, is – Seasons 90 Baja Gold (raw, unprocessed, sea salt). Also, I highly recommend that to get plenty of magnesium, calcium and potassium rich foods in your diet – fruits, vegetables, juicing, supplements… If you need help figuring this out, I’m here to help. If you would like to get your blood tested, I can do that too. Take it from me, salt is a lifesaver, not a potential killer.
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Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful weekend,
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Many thanks for your reply.
So I’ve upped my salt intake the last 3 days, not by much, a few flakes of sea salt in a drink, and on my food. I reckon I’m getting around 1-1.5 gms of salt(not sodium!) per day, most of my food is low salt, no processed food etc..
But, my legs have been really playing up worse, even moved to my arms, which I find worse!
Would you recommend increasing my salt intake more?
Many thanks again for your advice.
I know nothing about you or your case other than the few sentences you’ve shared with me. It would be impossible to make a competent recommendation beyond what I stated in my previous response. If you are lost for answers and would like a coach to help you, I’m here for you. Please feel free to reach out to me and I’ll groove you in on how to become a distance patient unless you are here in So. Cal. 714-639-4360
Hi Marcus, I’ve suffered from restless legs for a long time now, and have always suspected salt to be a trigger for my restless legs. Consequently I’ve followed a pretty strict low salt diet, with no added salt whatsoever.
What are your thoughts on restless legs and salt, and restless legs causes in general?
I must admit I do like salt, and have at times used Himalayan pink salt, very nice too. I’d love to go back to having liberal salt in my diet!
I don’t think too much salt could ever cause restless leg syndrome. On the contrary, too little salt can, as well as too little potassium and/or magnesium.