Is salt bad for you? We explore the negative side effects of salt and what you’ve been told. It’s time to learn the truth about salt!
The lie you’ve probably heard goes like this: “Eating salt will increase your risk of having high blood pressure, which will increase your risk for heart attack and stroke.”
This idea comes from the idea that eating less salt with decrease blood pressure which will decrease all other symptoms.
However, by taking a closer look at these studies that supposedly proved it true, you can see that the conclusions were stretched to fit the lie.
There actually hasn’t been any solid research that shows a link between salt and increased blood pressure.
A human with healthy kidneys can easily urinate any excess salt that has been eating, so unless you have kidney disease, you should be fine.
A 2003 review stated that “there is little evidence for long-term benefit from reducing salt intake,” and then in 2006, another journal found that the more sodium people ate, the less likely they were to die from heart disease.
A shocker, right?
And then finally, The American Journal of Hypertension reported that, after studying 8,000 participants, salt had virtually no impact on blood pressure.
Millions of patients were misguided by this advice when the regulatory bodies (FDA, AHA, AMA, USDA) picked it up and started running with it.
Low Salt Intake May Not Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease (Or Death)
There is some evidence that shows higher salt intake may be associated with increased risk of stomach cancer or high blood pressure, but there are several studies showing that reduced salt intake may not actually decrease the risk of heart disease or death.
However, the effect of salt intake may vary for certain groups of people. For example, one large study found that a low-salt diet reduced the risk of death but only in overweight individuals.
Low Salt Intake May Have Negative Side Effects
High salt intake may be linked to a few conditions, but a diet too low in salt can also bring its own negative consequences.
A few studies have found that reduced salt-diets could increase blood cholesterol and blood triglycerides, which can build up in the arteries and increase the risk of heart disease.
Other research found that salt restriction may cause a resistance to insulin. Causing insulin to work less effectively and leading to higher blood sugar levels as well as an increased risk of diabetes.
A low-salt diet can also lead to hyponatremia or low blood sodium. This makes your body hold extra water due to low levels of sodium, excess heat, or overhydration – it brings on headaches, fatigue, nausea, and dizziness.
How To Minimize Salt Symptoms
There are several healthy ways you can minimize your salt intake without hurting your body, and tossing the salt shaker in the trash isn’t one of them.
The main source of sodium in most diets is actually found in processed foods, so swapping boxed foods for whole foods and skipping the restaurant and fast food more often can help you keep your salt consumption in moderation.
If you need to reduce your sodium even more, consider shopping for low-sodium varieties of canned vegetables and soups.
Salt is a vital part of the diet and it plays essential roles in the human body.
However, for some people, too much or too little salt may bring on negative conditions and increased risk for illness.
Salt affects everyone differently and may not lead to adverse health effects.