Perhaps salt is better for you than you think.
This is a review paper where the researchers examine the question of “how valid are the recommendations to reduce sodium?”
“The current public health goal is to reduce Americans’ sodium intakes as much as possible, with the lower boundary of 1500 mg/d as the minimum amount of sodium required to consume in a nutritionally replete diet.”
But is this damaging?
Reduced sodium intake leading to increased renin concentrations, increased plasma renin activity, increased insulin resistance and sympathetic nerve activity, and elevated aldosterone and triglycerides.
So reducing salt increases insulin resistance?
And it increases aldosterone and triglycerides?
That’s not good.
Researchers point out that you regulate salt by your “salt appetite.”
The risk of reducing sodium below this “set point” is consistent with the increased morbidity and mortality.
Low salt activates the RAAS system.
This is part of the RAAS system.
The RAAS system is a system of hormones that works to regulate blood pressure and blood fluid balances.
When aldosterone is activated, it tends to raise blood pressure and increase the stiffness of the arteries, all to protect the body against life-threatening and metabolism-threatening levels of low-sodium.
At a cellular level, angiotensin II (Ang II) and aldosterone induce insulin resistance by increasing oxidative stress and altering insulin signaling, leading to decreased glucose transport. Ang II also contributes to oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis in pancreatic β cells.
The result is that low salt causes hardening of the arteries, diabetes, kidney problems and even high blood pressure.
Of course, nobody really knows this, because they’re generally following their doctor’s orders and their taking blood pressure medication.
But the low salt recommendations are hurting their health, and resulting in worsening blood pressure symptoms, diabetes and heart disease.
Salting your food to taste can reduce your chances of heart disease and diabetes.
As always, take this research to your doctor, and don’t just listen to me.
But this is certainly food for thought.
I always saw my food liberally, and I start the day with about a quarter teaspoon of sea salt.
Salt reduces levels of adrenaline in the body better than anything else.
It’s one of the many magical qualities of salt.
Beyond Blood Pressure: New Paradigms in Sodium Intake Reduction and Health Outcomes
The renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system and glucose homeostasis