Skip to main content

Salt is good for you?!


Salt is good for you?!
Perhaps you’ve heard some of the buzz in the health blog world about salt. Perhaps you are asking yourself, salt is good for me? Yep, it is! The idea is contrary to the pretty blatant lies told to us by the American Heart Association… and thank goodness, because salt makes food taste amazing.
There is no need to suffer through bland, unsalted meals in the sake of health.

 Here are 12 reasons why salt is good for you:

1. The premise that salt leads to hypertension has never been scientifically supported. On the contrary, studies show that a reduced-sodium diet leads to health issues. In one study, subjects consuming less than 2300 mg. (the recommended daily allowance) of sodium per day had significantly higher mortality rates (meaning a higher risk of death) than the subjects consuming 2300 mg. or more sodium per day.

2. Salt aids blood sugar control by improving insulin sensitivity. A low-salt diet increases insulin resistance and even moderate dietary salt restriction is shown to cause systemic insulin resistance.

3. Salt is a natural antihistamine. A pinch of salt sprinkled on the tongue may help improve an allergic reaction or an asthma attack.

4. Your body needs salt to maintain the proper stomach pH. Stomach acid is hydrochloric acid and salt is sodium chloride. Proper stomach acid levels are absolutely foundational for good digestion, but 90% of Americans have low stomach acid.

5. Salt lowers adrenaline spikes. Adrenaline is a necessary and important stress hormone, but it is just that… a stress hormone. When adrenaline patterns are out of rhythm, it takes a toll on the body.

6. Salt improves sleep quality. It boasts anti-stress and anti-excitatory qualities due to its suppression of stress hormones and it increasing of the metabolic rate. This may explain why many people report that a low sodium diet interferes with sleep and an adequate amount of dietary salt improves sleep quality.
Interestingly, if you often wake up with your heart pounding between 2 and 4 AM, it is probably because of an adrenaline spike. The most important change is to reduce both physical and mental stress, as well as eating a healthy diet. But one immediate fix to help you go back to sleep is just a pinch of salt and sugar (or salt and honey, if you prefer) sprinkled on the tongue to calm the adrenaline peak.

7. Adequate salt consumption encourages a healthy weight and fast metabolism. Showed that increased salt intake leads to an increase in the elimination of cortisol and lower blood cortisol levels. Imbalanced or excess cortisol means weight gain and a stagnant metabolism.

8. Salt supports thyroid function by reducing circulating stress hormones. For example, cortisol is anti-thyroid, but salt combats excess cortisol.

9. Salt supports hyperosmolarity of the extracellular fluid. Slight hyperosmolarity–more solutes in the extracellular fluid than in the cell–actually increases the cell’s metabolic rate.   That means salt can speed up your metabolism! On the other hand, when the extracellular fluid is hypo-osmotic in relation to the cell, it impairs the breakdown of proteins and glucose and thereby lowers the cell’s metabolism.
10. Increased sodium intake also correlates with increased thermogenesis–heat production by the body.

11. Adequate salt supports balanced hormones. Hormone and nutrition researcher Ray Peat explains the correlation between the salt-regulating hormone aldosterone and mineral loss:
One of the things that happen when there isn’t enough sodium in the diet is that more aldosterone is synthesized. Aldosterone causes less sodium to be lost in the urine and sweat, but it achieves that at the expense of the increased loss of potassium, magnesium, and probably calcium… Magnesium deficiency is extremely common, but a little extra salt in the diet makes it easier to retain the magnesium in our foods.

12. Salt makes food taste good. Salt adds a satiety factor to food and makes meals enjoyable. Adequate salt content of food makes it easier to enjoy quality instead of quantity, thereby encouraging mindful eating and weight management.

What salt is best?

Salt is good for you if it is the right type. With that said, regular processed salt is better than no salt, that’s for sure.  But the better option is unrefined salt, which is rich in trace minerals and free of additives.
I had the opportunity to speak with a salt expert at Real Salt, and I asked him how the popular types of unrefined salt compare. We discussed Real Salt, Himalayan Salt and Celtic Sea Salt. As it turns out, these salts share an extremely similar mineral profile. While some producers of Himalayan salt boast that their salt contains 84 trace minerals, that is a false marketing claim. These three types of unrefined salts all contain about 60 important trace minerals, although the amounts of minerals vary slightly from salt to salt.
Oh, this is obvious but I should say it anyways… don’t rely on high-sodium processed food for salt! That is not a good source of sodium. Make food from scratch and salt it yourself.

How much salt should I eat?

Food should be salted freely and to taste. When the metabolism is slow and the thyroid is not optimally functioning, it may be beneficial to consume extra salt whenever possible. This could include salting all beverages and using liberal salt when cooking and baking.
If you have kidney disease or hypertension, it is a good idea to consult with a medical practitioner before increasing salt intake.
Most importantly, listen to your body. Let your salt craving and desire for seasoning dictate how much salt to consume.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

7 Things You Need To Know if Your Doctor Says Your Cholesterol Is Too High (Before Taking Meds!)

7 Things You Need To Know if Your Doctor Says Your Cholesterol Is Too High (Before Taking Meds!) When I first opened my medical practice in the mid-80s, cholesterol, and the fear of having too high a level was rarely discussed unless your cholesterol level was over 330 or so. Over the years, however, cholesterol became a household word for something you must keep as low as possible, or suffer the consequences. Today, dietary fat and cholesterol are typically still portrayed as the worst foods you can consume. This is unfortunate, as these myths are actually harming your health.1 Cholesterol is one of the most important molecules in your body; indispensable for the building of cells and for producing stress and sex hormones, as well as vitamin D. Since the cholesterol hypothesis is false, this also means that the recommended therapies—low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, and cholesterol lowering medications—are doing more harm than good. Statintreatment, for example, is largely harmful, costly, a…

15 Powerful Ways To Fight A Sugar Addiction

15 Powerful Ways To Fight A Sugar Addiction 1.      Eliminate processed foods-Sugars are added to processed foods to enhance their flavor. Even the ones that you wouldn’t expect to be a sugar snack are often loaded with it. Make sure to read the labels and try to eliminate all processed and junk food from your diet. 2.      Eat regularly-If you wait too long in between meals your blood sugar drops and you are more likely to binge on sugary, fatty foods to satisfy your hunger. Opt for 3 healthy meals and 2 snacks or 5 smaller meals at regular time intervals. Choose fresh, whole foods high in protein and fiber like whole grains, seeds, nuts, fruit, and veggies. 3.      Fruit and Veggie Detox-When you feel up for it, do a whole food fruit and veggie detox. Eliminating all sugars for 5 to 10 days often decreases the need for sugar and will stop sugar cravings. 4.      Emotional Eating-When we feel down, bored, stressed or worried we tend to eat sugary snacks to find some comfort. Be aware of …

Healthy Tips for Eating Out

With the holiday coming up and people traveling to different events, I thought this might help

Healthy Tips for Eating Out
1.Probably the most important thing is to just choose food items that are mostly protein and/or vegetables. Most restaurants and servers will allow you to pick and choose certain items or sides with your entrée but realize there may be an up charge. 2.You don’t have to take the bread. Many restaurants bring bread before the meal and you can ask them to not do that. Yes it taste good but you don’t need the cards. 3.Stay away from the deep-fried items as the oil that they used to fry the food is probably hydrogenated and then reused many times. This would include french fries and many of the fried appetizers. 4.Always have a salad. Most of the better restaurants have a salad with the entrée or have good salad choices as the entrée. This is a great way to get your vegetables and fiber and they taste good too. Just be careful of the sugar laden dressings. Try to use an oil…