In today’s article I wanted to talk about SALT.
I think we can all agree that salt is considered to be an unhealthy food choice if used excessively. It’s got a pretty bad reputation.
Most people looking to eat healthy would choose a food lower in salt as opposed to one with high salt content if given the choice.
But is it as bad for us as we think?
I read that the average intake of salt in the UK is between 9-12 grams per day.
Did you know that the minimum amount of salt needed for the heart and nerves to work effectively is 2 grams per day? So the body does need a certain level of salt.
Ideally you want these salts to come from your food rather than added salt onto meals but as you know salt does enhance the flavour of foods so they’re used a lot.
Salt isn’t harmless but there are definitely worse things out there.
So why is salt considered bad?
For many years excessive salt intake has been linked to high blood pressure, arthritis, heart disease and much more.
There was a big study in the 80s which found a small relationship between salt intake and high blood pressure, this helped to give salt it’s bad name.
There have also been studies assessing the effects of all out salt reduction. Different studies have found that doing this has lead to problems with insulin, hormones, weight gain and increased cholesterol.
Is all salt the same?
You can get:
1. Sodium Chloride – This is the bad stuff. Normal table salt, this is what is added to all of our processed foods.
2. Sea Salt – These are supposed to be a healthier version but unfortunately a lot of the good stuff is stripped away in the processing phase.
3. Celtic Sea Salt – I was informed of this by fellow personal trainer Richard Clarke. This is the good stuff. It’s natural and contains many vital minerals which aid how our body performs. This has been linked with regulating heartbeat and blood pressure as well as improving brain function, improving sleep patterns and boosting energy levels.
Most of the health problems associated with salt is from all of the cheap unhealthy sodium chloride which is added (hidden in) to our foods all ready. This probably does more damage than when we use it to sprinkle over our food.
You’ll find foods such as cereals, biscuits, chocolates, drinks, sauces and dairy products contain a lot of added salt to enhance the flavour which makes these a bad food choice.
Easy solution would be to stay away from processed foods as much as possible.
Seafood is a great source of salts found in natural foods.
So I hope this clear things up a little bit for you.
The two main things to focus on are QUALITY & QUANTITY.
Eat the good stuff in sensible doses and you can get some great health benefits of salt.
Excessively eat the bad stuff and that’s where the problems lie.
Catch you soon,