Salt is Not So Evil After All

By Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

May 19, 2008

Salt is Not So Evil After All
Salt, like saturated fat, is a common scapegoat for heart-related health problems. A new study turns the paranoid salt shaker world on its head. It found that those with the lowest intake of salt1 were 80% more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than those with the highest intake of salt. The low salt consumers were also 24% more likely to die from any cause.

Salt sensitivity can readily be judged by extra fluid retention or elevated blood pressure directly associated with salt intake. Those with salt sensitivity need kidney support. Nutrients that are helpful include coenzyme Q10, milk thistle, and lipoic acid. Fluid retention can be helped with antioxidants and natural diuretics, such as mangosteen and cranberry.

In normal health, your body can easily handle widely variant sodium intake levels. I would like to point out that sodium restriction during the summer months can cause serious electrolyte imbalance that can only be corrected by sodium intake. This means those restricting sodium may become heat intolerant, leading to potentially serious cardiovascular distress.

Salt is needed for healthy digestion and for the formation of adrenal hormones. This is why many people crave salty food when they are under stress. Moderate use of salt has never been a problem for the great majority of people and an obsession with sodium restriction is not linked to longevity in cardiovascular patients – rather just the opposite.

If you seem to be craving too much salt, then work on nourishing your adrenal glands and the cravings will go away.

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