The Myth about Low Sodium DietsPosted: January 30, 2015
A client emailed me this morning asking if adhered to the Paleo Guidelines of using no salt or sugar. I am unsure why many people think that we should drastically lower our sodium intake in spite of the studies showing otherwise.
Salt is crucial to our health, Sodium is a naturally-occurring element found in everything from milk to beets to celery sticks. Most people’s main source of dietary sodium is table salt (sodium chloride), which is 40% sodium; fancier sea salts contain roughly the same amount of sodium, although they also contain several other trace minerals that are stripped from table salt during processing. Sodium is crucial for maintaining proper muscle and nerve function and electrolyte balance. It helps maintain the volume of blood plasma, an important balance for heart health. Salt also aids in digestion by providing chloride to the hydrochloric acid (HCL) in your stomach.
People with certain kidney problems may see some benefits from reducing salt consumption, but it’s not necessary or even healthy for most people. The historical stability of salt consumption suggests that our bodies know better than we do how much salt they need: on a Paleo diet rich in other important micronutrients like potassium, there’s nothing harmful about eating as much salt as you have a taste for.