How Much Salt The Body Need To Stay Healthy?
“Salt is what makes your food taste good” and when it lacks salt, your food becomes tasteless.” According to a medical professional Dr. Paul Whelton, a professor of global public health at Tulane University, ” defined “Sodium as the most important extracellular electrolyte,” It plays a role in many health functions.”
But do you know ‘Salt’ has 40 percent sodium, 60 percent chlorine and 100 percent delicious. For the American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams (mgs) a day and an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults. Because the average American’s sodium intake is so excessive, even cutting back to no more than 2,400 milligrams a day will significantly improve blood pressure and heart health.
But at the other hand, sodium is one of those things that everyone “knows” is unhealthy… kind of like saturated fat. Heath experts have always warn us about it for decades and about the “dangers” of it. The reason they do so, is that sodium is believed to increase blood pressure, a common risk factor for heart disease and stroke. This has constantly generate debated question: How much salt the body need to stay healthy? On one hand, your body needs the nutrients in salt to survive — particularly sodium.
Sodium Is the most important extracellular electrolyte,” so what are Electrolyte?
Electrolytes are tiny substances that dissolve in water to create positively- and negatively-charged ions that conduct electricity. A proper balance of these charges inside and outside of your cells is crucial to regulating many bodily functions, including hydration, blood pressure, and proper functioning of nerves and muscles. And yet, as important as sodium is, most Americans consume way too much of it. According to the federal government’s official dietary guidelines, the average American adult should ingest a maximum of 2,300 milligrams of sodium every day — a far cry from the estimated 3,400 mg the average person actually consumes. High-sodium diets like these have been widely linked to hypertension (high blood pressure) cases, which can increase one risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
So, how much salt do you actually need to survive?
“The minimum in a country like the United States is probably about 1500 mg a day,” Whelton said. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this is about the amount adults with high blood pressure should aim to consume each day. It’s also the daily amount the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends for babies under three years old.
For most Americans, eating this little sodium is near impossible. Of the roughly 3,400 mg of sodium the average American consumes every day, about 71 percent (or roughly 2400 mg) comes from added salt in processed and prepared foods, the CDC estimates. Eschewing a dash of table salt on your dinner will hardly make a dent in a sodium diet that’s largely determined by food manufacturers, Whelton said.
Certain groups of people, however, face a heightened risk of dropping below their minimum sodium needs and developing a condition called hyponatremia, which occurs when sodium becomes too diluted in the body, causing cells to swell up with water. Inflamed cells can cause myriad health problems including headache, nausea and fatigue — and may even be life-threatening.
Older adults with decreased kidney function, or anyone who takes medication that affect sodium levels (such as diuretics that help flush excess water and sodium from the body), face a heightened risk of hyponatremia. So do athletes who drink excessive amounts of water but fail to replace the sodium they sweat out while exercising. (This is why many sports drinks contain added electrolytes.)
Most people, however, don’t need to worry about getting enough salt. Whatever salt you get in your regular daily meals is probably more than enough to keep your cells well-oiled.
“I’m not too hung up on 1500 mg,” Whelton said, “because most of us are so far away from consuming even that.”
Sodium as a part of a healthy diet, check out some scientific statement.
Here are the approximate amounts of sodium in a given amount of table salt:
1/4 teaspoon salt = 575 mg sodium
1/2 teaspoon salt = 1,150 mg sodium
3/4 teaspoon salt = 1,725 mg sodium
1 teaspoon salt = 2,300 mg sodium
Did you know that on average, Americans eat more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day — much more than the American Heart Association and other health organizations recommend?
Most of us are likely underestimating how much sodium we eat, if we can estimate it at all. The association surveyed 1,000 adults and found that one-third couldn’t estimate how much sodium they ate, and another 54 percent thought they were eating less than 2,000 mg sodium a day.
Minimizing Sodium Can Mildly Lower Blood Pressure
It is definitely true that reducing sodium can help a person lower blood pressure, but the effect isn’t as strong as you may think.
In a massive Cochrane review of 34 randomized controlled trials, salt restriction was shown to reduce blood pressure ( 3 ):
Individuals with elevated blood pressure: A reduction of 5.39 mm Hg systolic and 2.82 mm Hg for diastolic.
Individuals with normal blood pressure: A reduction of 2.42 mm Hg systolic and 1.00 mm Hg for diastolic.
Be aware that these numbers are only averages. Some people may have seen impressive reductions, while others little to no effects.
As with most things in nutrition, the results depend on the individual.