How Much Sodium A Day Should You Have

How Much Sodium A Day Should You Have – If you’re confused about whether salt really is public health’s number one enemy, you’re probably not alone. And it’s people like me who are to blame. I’ll be clear about this: Much of the journalism about sodium intake is bullshit.

These stories often begin with reports of new observational studies—individual ones, of course—and end with some wild suggestion of what the latest piece of the scientific puzzle shows, rather than talking about what we should read from all the research that are made. .

How Much Sodium A Day Should You Have

There is already enough high-quality research that there is no need to be ashamed. The truth, according to the science right now, is pretty simple: a diet very high in sodium (two teaspoons or more of salt each day) is probably harmful; a very low sodium diet (less than one teaspoon per day) can also be harmful; about a teaspoon (or 2,300 mg) seems about right for most people.

Salty Sodium Myths Busted Infographic

Many Americans get more than that, mostly from salt added during food processing. What’s interesting about the salt debate is this: For some people, extra salt may not be all that important. (More on that below.) For others, however, it is, and sodium intake, unlike obesity or stress, is one of the few risk factors we can control when it comes to heart health. Because of this, salt became the focus of public health campaigns.

So what does this mean for you? Here’s everything you need to know about salt intake and health. And unless some monumental study comes out that shakes up all previous salt science, those conclusions aren’t going to change any time soon.

Blood pressure refers to the force the heart uses to pump blood through the circulatory system. If you have high blood pressure (known as hypertension), blood is pumped too hard, sometimes through arteries that are too narrow, which puts a strain on your heart and makes it work harder than it should.

How about the salt? Blood mainly consists of platelets and red and white blood cells suspended in a saline solution. (Salt is also found in urine, tears, and many other bodily fluids, so the average adult contains about three or four shakers of sodium.)

How Much Salt Should You Eat If You Have Low Blood Pressure?

When you eat a lot of salt, it is definitely absorbed into the body, but your body retains water to keep the sodium to water ratio stable. (This is why you crave water when you eat a lot of salty foods.) As your body retains water along with the salt, your cells, including blood cells, expand. Because of this, your blood volume swells, increasing the pressure on your arteries.

Some people’s bodies are good at filtering out excess sodium, but others are not. “Salt sensitivity” increases as we age and our arteries harden. It’s also more common in African-Americans, people who are obese, and people with chronic kidney disease. (These are all “high-risk” groups for hypertension.)

The reason it’s important for health is simple: high blood pressure is linked to heart attacks and heart failure, which is one of the leading causes of death in America. The thinking is that by reducing our salt intake, we will reduce the risk of high blood pressure and all the death and destruction it can ultimately cause.

The question of how much reducing salt intake can have an effect on tangible health outcomes, such as death and cardiovascular disease, has been the subject of heated debate among researchers for two reasons.

How Much Salt Does It Really Take To Harm Your Heart?

First: There are several factors that can affect blood pressure: genetics, exercise, body weight, alcohol consumption, stress, age, general diet. So it’s not just about the salt.

Second: Many of the studies linking salt consumption to severe endpoints such as disease and death tracked changes in blood pressure over only a short period of time. But blood pressure is only an indicator or “surrogate point” in health research. It is not a real health outcome such as a heart attack or death. Conducting an experiment—setting thousands of people at a particular level of salt intake over many years to see how their diet relates to the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and death—is much more difficult and expensive.

So the controversy lies in whether the short-term increases in blood pressure that we’ve seen in the studies end up affecting the heart and overall health in the long term.

Some argue that to really answer this question, we would need a large, randomized trial looking at different levels of sodium restriction and the effects on cardiovascular disease and mortality in 20,000 patients over five years. So far, no one has funded such a study.

Foods High In Sodium You Should Watch Out For — Eat This Not That

One of the best studies relied on by major health agencies, the DASH study, was conducted for just 30 days, comparing blood pressure levels in two groups of people who ate a regular diet or a low-sodium diet. (So ​​again, they weren’t looking at disease or death in the long term.)

A 2014 meta-analysis that examined all of the best studies on sodium intake concluded: “There was weak evidence of benefits in cardiovascular disease, but these findings were inconclusive and limited by one study of nursing home residents , who reduced salt intake … in home kitchens.” Another published in 2011 found, “We do not know whether low-salt diets improve or worsen health outcomes” and “more research is needed on reduced intake of salt”.

A few years ago, the Institute of Medicine—an independent, nonprofit organization that provides medical advice—convened an expert panel to review all the evidence on dietary sodium and health outcomes.

In 2013, the group published a report in which they agreed that it makes sense to reduce sodium intake globally, but also said they could find no evidence that a very low-sodium diet would be beneficial for someone, even for. for these high-risk groups (despite what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends for high-risk groups).

Doyouknow The Difference Between Sodium & Potassium? They Both Affect Our Blood Pressure But In Different Ways! For Example, Too Much # Sodium (>5 G Of Salt A Day) & Not Enough #

“The only conclusion we can draw is that there is not enough research to make recommendations to reduce sodium intake to 2,300 mg per day [or about one teaspoon],” said Maria Oria, a scientist at the Institute of Medicine . working on the report. So, the IOM said that based on the best available evidence, about 2,300 mg per day seems fine for most people.

Every expert I spoke to for this story agreed. “There’s no evidence that cutting sodium below 2,300 mg will help you,” said Michael Alderman, a sodium expert and professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

He also pointed out that there has never been a nutrient with a linear relationship to health that ended in zero. In other words, the health benefits of nutrients tend to exist in a “J-shape”: if you plot sodium intake on the y-axis and cardiovascular events on the x-axis, you’ll see people in the best health fall somewhere in between

Andreas Kalogeropoulos of Emory University, author of a new sodium study in JAMA Internal Medicine, examined the effects of salt intake on mortality, cardiovascular disease, and heart failure in older adults (ages 71 to 80). (This was an observational study based on data collected for a purpose other than a large experiment.) He also found that extremes are not beneficial.

Am I Eating Too Much Salt?

“There appears to be a ‘sweet spot’ of salt restriction beyond which it is difficult to observe additional benefit with a higher restriction,” he said. “On the other hand, in all studies, including ours, high salt intake (say, two teaspoons of salt or more per day) is harmful.”

“If it’s fresh,” said UT Southwestern blood pressure researcher Norman Kaplan, “you don’t have to worry about sodium. The fact that there is not much salt in nature should tell people something.”

In the handy chart at the top of the story, you’ll notice that restaurant meals are high in sodium but very low in fruits and vegetables.

About 80 percent of the sodium you eat comes from salt that is added during food processing. Therefore, the easiest way to reduce salt intake is to avoid packaged foods and restaurant meals as much as possible. When you eat food that you prepare yourself, you don’t have to worry about salt (unless you sprinkle your dishes with snow white).

How Much Salt Is Too Much? Who Tells How Much You Should Consume In A Day

This may not be easy in an environment where many of us rely on fast food, so some public health officials continue to call on government and industry to find ways to reduce salt during food processing. People like Alderman think this could have the unintended consequences we saw when the low-fat craze forced food manufacturers to pack sugar into their foods to compensate for the lost taste. But again, you can avoid potential harm and negative health effects by simply cooking more food at home.

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