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Why should you NOT avoid salt in your diet?

Parecelsus, a Swiss Physician once said, "Poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy."  In other words, one teeny-weeny drop of a deadly poison will not have an effect on you, as probably will not a teaspoon of sugar.  However, if you increase the dose of both of them, they will probably kill you. 

This principle applies to salt as well. Salt has been associated with a number of health problems including heart disease and high blood pressure. 

What is Salt and what is the Safe Dosage?

Table salt is a chemical compound composed of sodium and chloride ions.  It goes by the chemical name sodium chloride (NaCl) and it is 40% sodium and 60% chlorine by weight.  The ions that make up salt work as electrolytes in the body, which are important in nerve transmission, muscle function, and fluid balance.  

Health authorities have told us for years that the safe amount of sodium per day is 2,300 mg, and preferably less. This the content of one teaspoon or about 6 grams of salt. However, the majority of the population (at least 90% in the USA) consumes more than that.  

But studies have revealed that, for a healthy person, cutting down on sodium reduces blood pressure by a minute amount.  A 2013 study revealed that a salt intake reduction helped reduce systolic blood pressure by only 2.42 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by only 1.00 mmHg.  Both of these numbers are truly not as dramatic as one might expect. 

Cutting Down on Salt can Actually be Dangerous

There might actually be unwanted consequences of completely eliminating table salt from your diet:

  • Elevated LDL and triglycerides
  • Heart failure
  • Heart disease
  • Insulin resistance
  • Increases chances of death from Diabetes Type 2