How Much Salt Do We Need?
Scientists have observed animals similar to man – such as higher primates – and their studies have shown them that the lower their sodium intake, the healthier they are. It is well-known and documented that consuming less salt reduces the chances of high blood pressure. It also reduces the chances of developing diseases that cause – or are associated with – high blood pressure.
This means that a healthy diet should have low levels of salt. The only way to truly live like this is if processed foods – and indeed foods prepared at home – had less salt in them. Even reducing salt content by just a tenth would make a huge difference.
If we were to look at the recommended daily amount of salt, we would see that it is still disproportionately high. The US recommendations from 198 tell us that adults should consume between 1.1 and 1.3 grams of sodium per day. It is less than most people are eating, but still not the optimal amount. So what is the reason for the contradiction? Keep in mind that the “recommended amount” is often different from the actual optimum amount.
The recommended amount is an amount that many people can consume without suffering from adverse side effects. Eating less will also not cause any harm, but we have to ask if there are problems associated with having too much of a particular substance. This is why the recommended dose is a little one-sided, as it doesn’t place importance on the right consideration.
If the minimum recommended amount was based on how much a person should avoid consuming – an amount that would likely damage to your health – then it would likely be much lower than the current recommended amount.
Another good thing about proper recommended amounts is they minimise the damage caused by exceeding or lacking certain substances. We can impact minimizing this risk with clear guidelines. Sodium is one of those cases where the optimal amount of sodium is much less than the recommended daily dose.