Next Avenue: Is salt really that bad for you? Here’s the skinny on sodium and your health.

by | Feb 22, 2023 | Stock Market

This article is reprinted by permission from The salt shaker can be a friend or foe. But can you live without any salt at all? Next Avenue asked some experts about what kinds of salt are available, how much is too much, and how we can include salt in a healthy diet.

“We need sodium, also known as salt, for our bodies to function optimally,” says Angel Planells, Seattle-based RDN for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Sodium helps with our nerve impulses and transmissions, contracting and relaxing our muscles, and helping to regulate the proper balance of water and minerals in our cells.” “We obtain sodium through our foods and drinks and lose it primarily through sweat and urine. The kidneys act as the gatekeeper to help regulate the amount of sodium that needs to be excreted in the urine.” The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health states that there is insufficient evidence to establish a Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for sodium intake. Still, a Chronic Disease Risk Reduction Intake, or CDRR, lists 2,300 mg daily as the maximum amount to reduce chronic disease in people 14 years or older.  Plus: Great news for coffee lovers: It can be really good for you. Here’s how to boost the benefits of your beans.Too much or too little? A mere quarter teaspoon of table salt has around 590 mg of sodium. Coarse sea salt has 530 mg or more, and pink Himalayan salt and kosher salt are slightly lower at 460 and 480 mg, respectively.  Although the CDRR guidelines say that 2,300 mg a day is optimal, others believe that number should be decreased to around 1,500 mg a day.  “2,300 mg may seem like a lot, but if you start tracking your sodium intake, the average American consumes 3,400 mg per day,” says Planells, noting that many average sodium levels of everyday foods are pretty high. F …

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