Do you know: How much Salt you need Daily?

Salt is an essential element for the functionality of human body. For more than 1 century, physicians have blamed salt to be a major factor in causing high blood pressure and heart diseases. Is this true? And, how much salt do we need to consume to have good health?

Numerous studies have shown that people, who are salt’s high consumers face problems with increase of blood pressure and consequently face higher risk for heart diseases and strokes. Daily amount of salt recommended in clinical conditions, for people suffering from such diseases is 1500 mg – 2300 mg/day. While, for a healthy individual, the recommended amount of salt equals 1 teaspoon or 4 gr – 5 gr salt/day. I’m sure you’re shaking your head and rolling your eyes now, as the math does not work out well. The reason for that is because only 40% of the salt we use in our tables is the element ‘sodium’, which is considered by scientists as the salt in the human body. The other 60% is chlorine (remember it is called NaCl).

The safe amount of salt could be increase if you’re an active individual and are regularly involved in sweating activities. Urinating, sweating and even weeping are three natural mechanisms that the body uses to extract the excessive amount of salt. Feeling thirsty is another reaction caused mostly from the excessive salt in the human body.

Attention! Lack of salt in the human body is dangerous too. It may cause: diarrhea, vomiting, block in the small intestine, problems with thyroid and … even heart failure. Thus, a healthy individual should consume at least 2 gr of salt/day.

Sources of Salt Intake

There are many sources we take salt needed for our body. Products we consume is one of them. Almost all of them contain salt (sodium):

  • 1 egg – 0.14 gr of salt,
  • 1 glass of fresh milk – 0.05 gr of salt,
  • 60 gr of cooked spinach – 0.12 gr of salt,
  • 1 glass of low fat yogurt – 0.076 gr of salt.

That being said, we should be careful with the amount of added salt, the one we use during cooking or eating. To avoid added too much salt, we must add sour taste to our dish (see this article why). Prepared foods (fast foods, canned foods, sugar added juices, potatoes chips, etc.) are a big source of salt for our body. So, be careful how much of such food you eat daily. Despite urban legends, there is no difference on salt origin, regarding salt’s effects on human body. All three kinds of salt: sea salt, stone salt and kosher salt, apply the same effects for good or for bad on our body.

Special attention should be paid to the way we feed our children. Since early childhood. we should teach our little ones to consume a moderate amount of salt and fresh, healthy food. Babies under 1 year old must not consume salt, as their adrenal system is not yet developed enough to process salt.

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