Good or bad? Discovering the truth about salt
When you type “is salt good or bad for you” into Google’s search engine, an array of conflicting articles pop up; some proudly mention that salt is bad for you due to its adverse effects on blood pressure, while other sources praise it.
Let’s take a look at the debate over whether salt influences your heart health:
Some sources claim that salt has little to no effect on diastolic blood pressure for hypertensives, but reducing the amount you consume may slightly lower the systolic blood pressure in hypertensives. Healthline declares “there is no strong evidence linking reduced [salt] intake to a lower risk of heart attacks, strokes or death.”
However, Blood Pressure UK bluntly argues that there is a correlation between the amount of salt you consume and your overall heart health. They claim, “Salt makes your body hold on to water. If you eat too much salt, the extra water stored in your body raises your blood pressure.” And, of course, when your blood pressure is elevated, your chances of experiencing a cardiac arrest increase.
Health 24 lists seven reasons why salt is bad for you and uses an article published in The BMJ in 2009 to back up their belief that salt contributes to cardiovascular disease. The study bravely announces that “This meta-analysis shows unequivocally that higher salt intake is associated with a greater incidence of strokes and total cardiovascular events. Our systematic review identified 13 relevant and suitable studies published from 1996 to 2008. These studies provided evidence from 170 000 people contributing overall more than 10 000 vascular events.” Health 24 also discusses how salt may influence stomach cancer, may increase your consumption of unhealthy foods that are high in salt (due to its addictive qualities), and may wreak havoc on your cognitive abilities as you age.
The Washington Post details how our body needs salt to survive. When you were younger and just finished playing a football game or underwent bouts of diarrhoea or vomiting, your mother likely encouraged you to replenish your body with salt because “Sodium is necessary for preventing dehydration, for proper transmission of nerve impulses and for normal functioning of cells.” The article concludes with a message on how it is vital to reduce your daily salt intake if your doctor recommends doing so, but salt may not be as evil as the media or some researchers declare it to be!
However, if you are unsure of whether salt is good or bad for you, you may want to consider a flavourful and healthy alternative, and try out Seagreens Mineral Salt 100g. Using this unique salt combination of Ascophyllum nodosum wrack seaweed and unrefined salt in place of sodium chloride will help to reduce your salt intake without eliminating it from your diet.
If you consider the benefits of seaweed (may stave off hunger, contains antioxidants, helps your thyroid and gut, etc.) and the possible benefits of salt (listed above), this salt replacement may be the perfect answer to the ongoing health debate on whether sodium chloride is good or bad for you.