If you are one of those people who believe that salt contributes to heart disease and hypertension, the odds are, you are wrong. Here is a list of findings that you might find surprising:
- Eating large amounts of salt doesn’t make you thirsty and doesn’t cause greater urine output. According to a study done on Russian cosmonauts, eating more salt had the opposite effect.
- It has been scientifically shown that the right potassium to sodium balance affects the risk for heart disease and hypertension to a greater extent than high sodium alone.
- It has been scientifically shown that a low-salt diet worsen cardiovascular disease and increase the risk for early death among those at high risk of heart disease
- About 71% of your salt intake comes from processed food. It is important to swap processed food with a whole food die to ensure a proper sodium-to-potassium ratio.
Counterintuitive Results Show How Poor Our Understanding of Salt Is
Our understanding about salt is quite poor, yet we think that we have it all figured out.
“If you eat a lot of salt — sodium chloride — you will become thirsty and drink water, diluting your blood enough to maintain the proper concentration of sodium. Ultimately you will excrete much of the excess salt and water in urine. The theory is intuitive and simple. And it may be completely wrong … [Recent research] contradicts much of the conventional wisdom about how the body handles salt and suggests that high levels may play a role in weight loss.”
Your Body Maintains a Constant Sodium Balance Regardless of Salt Intake
Dr. Titze studied urine output patterns of a crew on the Mir station and found that the amount of salt in their bodies had nothing to do with their salt intake.
“The sodium levels should have been rising and falling with the volume of urine. Although the study wasn’t perfect — the crew members’ sodium intake was not precisely calibrated — Dr. Titze was convinced something other than fluid intake was influencing sodium stores in the crew’s bodies. The conclusion, he realized, ‘was heresy’ …
When the crew ate more salt, they excreted more salt; the amount of sodium in their blood remained constant, and their urine volume increased. ‘But then we had a look at fluid intake, and were more than surprised,’ he said.
Instead of drinking more, the crew were drinking less … when getting more salt. So where was the excreted water coming from? ‘There was only one way to explain this phenomenon,’ Dr. Titze said. ‘The body most likely had generated or produced water when salt intake was high.’”
12 Reasons Why Salt is Good For You
- The premise that salt contributes to hypertension has never been backed up by science. In fact, studies show that a diet low in sodium is associated to various health issues.
- Salt improves insulin sensitivity
- Salt is a natural antihistamine
- The body needs salt to maintain healthy stomach pH level
- Salt lowers adrenaline spikes
- Salt improves sleep quality
- Regular consumption of salt ensures fast metabolism
- Salt supports thyroid function
- Adequate salt supports balanced hormones
- Salt supports hyperosmolarity of the extracellular fluid
- Increased sodium intake is associated with increased thermogenesis
- Ultimately, salt makes food taste good