Is Salt Bad for Your Health?
Is salt bad for your health? There are so many debates on this topic. So let us settle this in this article.
Here in Chillax Easy, we talk about how to upgrade your lifestyle to the next level. So we provide information on stress management, motivation, self-help and more. However, I forgot something that is very crucial to a person’s lifestyle, Health. So I also need to tackle health in the future articles to help you guys.
You see, I am not a doctor, but I am a graduate of Medical Technology and I guess that gives me a right to give a little bit of health information to you. Whatever I will write here will be backed up with scientific research to prove that I am not fooling anybody or making some bogus to fool a person in need of health information.
Why Some Say that Salt is Bad for Your Health?
It is simple. Salt is associated with increased blood pressure. In a study conducted by Mente, Phd et al. (2018), found in thelancet.com, they noticed that there is an increase of 2.86 mm Hg in the blood pressure of respondents for every 1g increase in sodium intake. So there is a correlation with increased Blood pressure with salt intake, and as we know, High Blood pressure is also known as the silent killer, giving tons of diseases for us in the long run, especially in our heart, brain and kidneys.
As a call to action, the World health Organization (WHO) recommends a 2,300mg of Salt intake in a day. That is actually small, but it is alright as you need to take note that a pure salt is 40% sodium, which means that is takes around 6 grams of salt (around one teaspoon) to satisfy our daily need of sodium.
All of the researches that increased salt intake would increase blood pressure is true. In fact, it is a fact in physiology that Sodium increases the heart rate. As a saying, sodium increases heart rate while potassium decreases it. They counteract each other in a way. That’s why Sodium and Potassium is essential in any electrolyte workup of a patient.
Summary: The complications of salt is with sodium, and sodium is correlated in increased blood pressure, which causes the detrimental health effect of salt in our body.
Health Benefits of Salt in Our Body
While there are some detrimental effects associated with salt, let us not forget about how it is useful to our body’s daily function.
First and foremost, salt maintains the so called isotonic solution in our body, also known as osmotic blood pressure or water balance, which is about 0.9% Sodium Chloride (NaCl).
Less than 0.9% is called hypotonic solution which would cause our cells to swell, and greater than 0.9% will be called a hypertonic solution which would cause our cells to shrink.
Salt is important in maintaining that balance in our body. In fact, one of the most used fluids used in medicine is an isotonic solution (0.9% NaCl), which is also known as the Saline solution.
More uses of salt in our body is it is involved in muscle contraction. in fact, muscle cramps are correlated to increase sweating which decreases the amount of salt in our body.
Furthermore, Sodium is an electrolyte. It is a charges particles which helps in proper nerve function in our body. Which is why salt in actually not bad at all.
Salt also maintains our stomach’s pH because salt supplies Chloride ions which is needed for the production of Hydrochloric acid in our body.
Sodium is not correlated with Morbidity
Salt is actually needed by our body to function well, it is not actually bad at all as increased salt intake is not correlated in increased morbidity at all.
In fact, a research conducted by Taylor et al. (2011), named: Reduced dietary salt for the prevention of cardiovascular disease: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (Cochrane review), said that there is no correlation between increased salt intake and morbidity of people with normal and increased blood pressure. How did this happened? Is there anything our body does to salt for us to control a proper salt balance despite our diet? Let us find out further in this article.
Summary: Health benefits of salt includes, maintaining our osmotic blood pressure, pH and helps in nerve and muscle function. Higher salt intake is not correlated with higher morbidity among the respondents in a study. conducted in 2011.
Our Body can Normally Handle Salt
The body can normally maintain a proper salt concentration, that’s why there shouldn’t be any much complication in an increased or decreased salt intake. Our hormones will do its job for us to maintain the balance of salt in the body. That is called the Renin-Angiotensin- Aldosterone System (RAAS), not to give crazy information. The simple explanation is this system will create Aldosterone which will cause us to maintain stable sodium concentration in our body, maintaining blood pressure. In short, this system maintains our proper salt balance.
Summary: Our body can naturally handle salt concentrations in our body on its own.
Let us Dig Deeper In Those Research
You see, in those studies, they are focused on the table salt. The salt that is processed and we use every day. Did you know that there is a natural salt that is more beneficial than our common table salt?
Let us differentiate them namely: Table Salt, Iodized Salt and Sea/Himalayan salt
- Table salt is the common salt we use in our home, it is pure salt which means it is almost purely 100% NaCl. Also known as the refined salt.
- Iodized salt is made due to the increase of thyroid problems in the population due to lower iodine intake. They fortified the refined salt with iodine to help solve the issue since thyroid needs iodine for its normal function.
- Sea or Himalayan Salt are almost the same except but there is some difference which I would explain later, but to make this one short, they are the natural salts that our ancestors usually use.
Sea/ Himalayan Salt
Do note that our ancestors did not have our technology today to purify a salt. The refinement of salt decreased its health benefits significantly due to the loss of a lot of trace minerals.
The thing is that sea salt is actually better than the common table salt for our body. There are a lot of health benefits associated with sea salt. This is a list of health benefits of sea salt according to Draxe.com,
- Regulation of the water levels within the body for proper overall functioning
- Helping reduce common signs of aging
- Encouraging Healthy Blood sugar levels
- Promoting cellular energy creation
- Reducing cramping (like leg cramps)
- Improving the absorption of nutrients from foods
- Aiding vascular health
- Lowering the incidence of sinus problems and promoting overall sinus health
- Providing circulatory support
- Improving bone strength
- Fostering a healthy libido
- Promoting kidney and gallbladder health in comparison to chemically treated table salt
I know it is too much, but I just want you to take this note. Sea salt has 60 different trace minerals in it while Himalayan salt is said to have 84 trace minerals. Which means sea salt is packed with minerals in them that gave the health benefits mentioned above.
Common table salt or refined salt has only 2, namely: Sodium and Chloride, while Iodized salt has 3, namely: Sodium, Chloride and Iodine. That is a big difference compared to 60 and 84 right?
Summary: Sea Salt and Himalayan Salt gives more health benefits than ordinary table salt due to the fact that Sea Salt and Himalayan Salt are rich in mineral content.
Here is a video that explains more into salt. Feel free to look at it, courtesy of YouTube and youtuber Thomas DeLauer
Sea salt or Himalayan salt
Please do know that both of them are better for your overall health. However, you might have a question in mind right now. If I am going to use Sea salt or Himalayan salt in my next meal. which is better? Most of them will say that to use Himalayan salt because it has 84 trace minerals right? Well they are definitely right, but I have a deeper reason why I would recommend Himalayan salt more.
Himalayan salt is considered as the purest form of sea salt. It came from the mountains of the Himalayas and has been there for thousands of years. Which means it has fewer impurities. Sea salt on the other hand, while it is still a good source of minerals, it has already been contaminated.
What I mean on contaminated is that we do not know if the sea salt you have been eating is contaminated by radioactive waste from factories or even plastic. In fact, there is a study that suggest that sea salt nowadays contain plastic fragments, you can read that by the article of the guardian in here.
Summary: I would suggest you to try Himalayan Salt rather than Sea salt, not just because that Himalayan salt has more trace minerals into it, but also sea salt nowadays is subject to contamination.
Where to get Himalayan Salt
Himalayan salt is easy to find. There are some Himalayan salt in the grocery store but If you can’t find one. You can order it here.
I have chosen this for you because it is the same one I’ve been using. I’ll place the one I am using in this picture below.
Conclusion/Petite of Saying
As always, I end my article with a petite of saying. Here it is: ” Everything that is too much is bad for you.”
Overall, salt is not bad for you. Remember that your body can maintain proper salt concentrations for you to enjoy its benefits.
However, do not abuse this as our body also has its limit. Limit salt intake and it is better to use other salts for your health due to its higher trace mineral content. I do not suggest you to try sea salt because it was found out that sea salt has plastic fragments due to the pollution today. Therefore, I suggest you to use Himalayan salt since it has been there for thousands of years, it is also known as the purest form of sea salt. If you want to try Himalayan salt, you may check my link above.
Whatever it is, always stay healthy since it is an integral part of our lifestyle.
Regards to all! Have a pleasant day,
Jason of Chillax Easy
Sources for this article