Table salt contains a significant amount of sodium, which has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. As a result, the American Heart Association recommends that people consume no more than 3.4 grams of salt each day (AHA). This chemical may cause kidney stones and renal illness if ingested in excess. Osteoporosis, stomach cancer, heart failure, and stroke can all result from a high-sodium diet. Aside from causing weight gain, it may also cause your body to retain water.
Someone attempting to give a woman a salt shaker, but she declines.
Aside from these factors, sodium is required for effective performance of our nerves and muscles. According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, this mineral is essential for nerve transmission, muscle contractions, and fluid homeostasis. The average daily salt need for the general population is 500 milligrams, however athletes and other groups may have higher needs.
Sodium is an important electrolyte in the human body, along with potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Sweating removes these minerals from the body, which may cause dehydration and interfere with recovery time for athletes. As a result, according to sports dietician Marita Radloff, they need more electrolytes than the average person. Sports drinks and electrolyte liquids are popular choices for some, while salty snacks such as popcorn or beef jerky are more appealing to the others.
It’s estimated that the typical individual consumes less than a quarter teaspoon of salt every day. What may happen if you don’t get enough salt in your diet?
Is It Possible That A Low-Sodium Diet Is Harmful?
Study published in the American Journal of Hypertension found that following a low-sodium diet might be just as hazardous as ingesting too much salt, as the researchers hypothesized back in 2014. Researchers looked at 25 studies and came to the conclusion that either consuming too much or too little salt increases the risk of cardiovascular events and early mortality. This was also the conclusion of a large-scale research published in The Lancet in 2016 that involved over 133,000 participants from 49 different nations. Low sodium intakes have been associated to an increased risk of mortality and heart disease in both healthy and hypertensive patients alike.
It’s possible that sodium restriction may cause hyponatremia, particularly if you’re using diuretics or consume a lot of water while doing so. Healthline notes that low sodium levels in the circulation may induce muscular cramps, mood changes, poor energy, disorientation, nausea, and exhaustion. It may lead to convulsions, coma, or even death if left untreated. According to data published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2003, low-sodium diets may potentially influence blood lipids and hormone levels.
Those with high blood pressure may benefit from reducing their salt intake without a doubt, but sodium is still required in the diet. It’s possible that you’ll need more salt to perform at your best if you’re an athlete or otherwise physically active.