Dietary salt, the silent killer: How much is too much?

New guidelines by the America Health Association shows that many people (especially old people) are diagnosed with high blood pressure, and the number is not coming down anytime soon. So, if you or anyone you know has blood pressure, then there is the probability that salt has played an essential role in causing this health issue. We now live in a world where we consume a way too much highly processed diet that is high in sodium – making many people consume way too much salt than they should. In this article I will explain the relationship between salt and high blood pressure, and how much salt is too much.

What does salt do to the body?

When sodium which is one of the two components of salt (sodium and chlorine) is consumed in just the right amounts, – it is healthy. It helps transmit nerve impulses and regulate the contraction and relaxation of the muscles and also help maintains the balance of fluids in the body. The kidneys control the amount of sodium present in the body. When the kidney detects an excess of sodium, they release it through sweat and urine.

Why does salt cause such a life-threatening disease?

It is exciting that we humans need salt, but it is also the cause of a life-threatening disease. The answer to this curiosity comes in two-fold. The first is that many people tend to get the wrong type of salt, and they also get too much of it. There are two types of salt, which is the organic and the inorganic sodium. Organic sodium comes from a plant source, while inorganic, on the other hand, does not. Our body can only work well with the organic salt that is found in vegetables like celery.

The second reason is that we are sadly deficient in potassium and potassium works with sodium to normalise or lower high blood pressure – and it can be found in raw foods abundantly. Inorganic potassium is unsafe in the RDA of 4,600 mg/day, and you cannot take it in a vitamin. People crave more for potassium, and the worst part is that it is about eight times “saltier” than salt.

Salt Sensitivity

We all have different bodies, and there is a limit to what each can take. Patients with hypertension are sensitive to salt differently, and experts say about 50% of patient with high blood pressure cannot take more than 300mg of sodium a day and that is 500mg of salt. Also, that is about 1/8 teaspoon. This is the reason why people with high sensitivity should avoid supermarkets box food and also lower their overall salt intake.

Patients with high blood pressure need to control the K-factor, and sodium and salt consumption. Natural foods that lower blood pressure is the best way to limit salt consumption because they are naturally low in sodium, being on a low sodium diet can help to eliminate medication or at least lower it.