How Much Is Too Much Salt in the Diet?

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The existence of minerals in the food that we eat is very important because of the certain functions of these minerals in the human body. Some of these functions include: nerve conduction, acid and base balance, muscle contraction and foundation of certain body structures. However, too much excess and too little consumption of these minerals can both lead to the development of health risk which may put a great deal of discomfort to individuals especially among those individuals who are already suffering from a specific disease.

One of the most controversial minerals is the salt. Recently, a new guideline was released regarding the campaign of decreasing the amount of salt in the diet. In addition, according to a new study too much and little amount of salt in the diet among individuals with diabetes and heart diseases can increase health risks.

Salt or sodium chloride (Na) is a very important mineral that has vital functions in the body. Some of its functions include: water balance in the body, and muscle contraction. Because of these functions, researchers say that too much salt in the diet can actually increases the amount of blood volume which can put greater pressure to the blood vessels and even to the heart. This event can then lead to heart failure or collapse of the vessels.

Medical health professionals and researchers conducted many studies which prove that cutting down the amount of sodium intake can actually lower the blood pressure of an individual. Also, other health risk factor for heart diseases such as increase cholesterol, and triglyceride levels can actually be decreased. However, other studies reveal otherwise.

The new study which involve the examination and analysis of data from about 20,000 men and women who are actually suffering from heart diseases or at a heightened risk of developing heart diseases. The study delved on the amount of sodium and potassium excreted by the study participants. The time span of the said study reached for about more than four years in order to mach certain conclusions.

Moreover, the findings of the study revealed that the level of excretion of sodium in the urine whether it is higher or lower, both showed increase health risk. This means that those individuals who had higher excretion levels of sodium in their urine and those individuals who had lower excretion sodium levels are more likely to develop heart diseases as compared to those individuals who are taking moderate amount of sodium in their diet.

Says the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, “a key to healthy eating is choosing foods lower in salt and sodium. Most Americans consume more salt than they need. The current recommendation is to consume less than 2.4 grams (2,400 milligrams[mg] ) of sodium a day. That equals 6 grams (about 1 teaspoon) of table salt a day.”

 

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