Your Diet Your Life| The Truth about Salt

To salt, or not to salt.  That is the question.  One very good answer was given in the August 6, 1992, Journal of the American Medical Association; the article, “Salt and Hypertension,” gave the best summation on the subject I’ve seen to date.

Many people in the United States could benefit from a reduction in salt intake.  This is not to suggest that cutting back on salt will cure high blood pressure of even be an adequate treatment for it; but most people with mild hypertension will show a significant reduction in their blood-pressure reading with using less amount of salt.

How Much is Enough?

Salt has played a major role in the history of human beings, but in recent years the role has been that of the villain.  Salt has many uses.  It preserves food, it gives tastes to the food we eat, but it also destroyed a city.  If you remember the story of the bible, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur…thus he overthrew those cities and entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities–and also the vegetation in the land.  Of course, not taking that literally destroying our body, salt definitely change our economy and our lives.  In 1960, the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines’ Mineral Yearbook stated that world salt production was 93.2 million short tons; the United States produced about one-third of this amount.  In short, salt production is too much.

So it is with our daily intake.  Most people consume between 2,000 and 7,000 mg of salt each day, yet the National Research Council maintains that a safe and adequate daily sodium intake is about 1,100 to 3,300 mg for adults.

How much is really enough?  It is very difficult to determine the exact minimal amount of sodium that the body needs daily to function.  Once we our aware that this extremely small amount of salt daily is all the body needs to survive, the amount of salt we actually consume becomes truly astronomical.

If you want a quick and easy gauge of the amount of salt in your daily diet, there is an interesting instrument called a salt meter.  It tells you the level of the salt in the food you are eating.  I mean really, who has the time to measure salt? Maybe, for severely ill people–I recommend that salt intake needs to be measured.

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