The Significance Of Salt In The Human Diet

The Significance Of Salt In The Human Diet

It is commonplace nowadays to hear or read all kinds of dietary recommendations. One of them is to take care about the daily salt intake. The excess of salt is linked to heart disease and other conditions, but at the same time, the sodium ions from the salt are needed by the human organism in order to perform certain essential functions. Our body cannot produce salt, so we need to take it from our food in order to maintain life and to be healthy.

In order to sustain life, it is considered that a healthy adult needs at least 500 mg of sodium every day, and the recommended ratio is 1500 mg, or almost 4 grams of salt. On the other hand, we can’t always trust health organization recommendations, because they have a history of giving bad advice to people, such as the low-fat diet guidelines, which proved to be wrong.

Salt is necessary for the human body in order to ensure cellular metabolism. It is a vital component of blood and lymph. Another role of the salt is ensuring the functioning of the nervous system (it is needed by neurons in order to send signals). Plus that certain nutrients cannot be absorbed in the small intestines in the absence of salt.

If a mammal has a sodium deficiency, it will experience symptoms such as coma, heart failure, brain swelling, blood loss and cardiovascular collapse. Remote tribes which have a low salt diet have a shorter life expectancy.

Either way, our body knows how much salt we need. When we have too much salt in our bodies, we feel thirsty and drink, leading to salt being eliminated through urine.

A too high intake of salt becomes a problem, especially when you are consuming salt without noticing. This happens in the case of people who eat a lot of processed foods.

Salt is a substance that is both a friend and a foe. The key to a healthy diet is balance and this applies to salt intake, too. Not eating enough salt will make us sick, just as having too much of it. More than this, salt is necessary for enhancing food taste and making it more palatable. So the only solid and correct recommendation is to eat healthy, wholesome foods and to add salt whenever you consider it necessary.

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