Everyone loves salt, on everything from super salty fries to Chinese food, but too much salt can be a bad thing. Although going overboard with salt can lead to health problems, salt is also a necessary mineral for our bodies.
Our bodies use salt to maintain fluid in our blood cells and to send information from our nerves and muscles. Because our bodies can not create salt, we have to consume it through food.
The Center for Disease Control suggests that the average adult should consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of salt a day. Seventy-five percent of the salt in our food is already added, which is why 90% of Americans eat more salt than is suggested. High amounts of salt can also be found in some foods you might not expect, such as Kraft’s American Cheese, which has 227 milligrams of sodium per slice, or Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup – one serving has 940 milligrams of salt.
Sea salt is thought to be a healthier version of salt. Although sea salt is formed a different way than regular table salt. it is actually the exact same thing. Which salt you choose to eat is a personal preference, but there are no health benefits to eating sea salt over plain table salt, or vice versa.
It is important to not cut salt completely out of your diet, especially for those who work out – it is important to replace the salt you sweat out when you exercise. This is why sports drinks such as Gatorade contain salt.
Eating too much salt can cause many long term health problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease. By eating foods that are less processed, like fruits and veggies, and resisting the urge to put some more salt on your food, you can easily keep your sodium intake in check.
By Fiona O’Connor