8 Reasons Why Sodium is Not the Enemy

Is sodium's bad rap justified? Here are 8 reasons why it's not.

 5. DANGERS OF LOW SODIUM

Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York have shown that in 11 studies on the link between sodium and cardiovascular disease, only five have shown that a low-salt diet was associated with a lower CVD risk. That’s less than half. The rest have shown that a lowsodium diet either had no effect on CVD risk or actually increased the risk for CVD. 

One study published in Current Opinion in Cardiology discovered that very low levels (less than 2,000 mg) and very high levels (more than 4,000 mg) of sodium intake were associated with increased mortality rates, whereas intakes between those two extremes had no association. An article published in the American Journal of Medicine calculated that adults who consumed less than the recommended 2,300 mg of sodium per day were almost 40% more likely to die from cardiovascular causes than those who consumed more than 2,300 mg.

 6. LOW SODIUM = LESS MUSCLE, MORE FAT 

Clinical research studies have shown that when sodium intake is decreased, so is insulin sensitivity. A reduction in insulin sensitivity means that your body has to produce more insulin when you consume carbs, which can lead to an increased risk for developing type-2 diabetes and obesity. It also can limit muscle growth. Because insulin is important for pushing carbs, amino acids and creatine into your muscles, lower insulin sensitivity can make it harder for you to recover after workouts and gain muscle and strength. One study, published in an issue of Acta Physiologica Scandinavica, found that when sodium levels were reduced by about 85%, creatine uptake was also reduced by about 80%.

SALE OF THE EARTH AND OTHER TRIVIA

  • There’s enough salt in the world’s oceans to cover all the continents with a 45-story-high layer of it!
  • Salt is so essential to the body that if you drink too much water, it can be flushed out of your system and cause fatal hyponatremia. This is what killed California’s Jennifer Strange, who entered a “hold your wee for a Wii” radio competition.
  • In 1909, a magnitude 6 earthquake triggered a 12-foot-high tsunami-like wave in the Great Salt Lake.
  • After aviation fuel is purified, salt is mixed with it to remove all traces of water before it can be used.
  • Only 6% of the salt used in the United States is used in food; another 17% is used for de-icing streets and highways in the winter months.
  • In the early 1800s, salt was four times as expensive as beef on the U.S. frontier — it was essential in keeping people and livestock alive.
  • Until the 20th century, pound bars of salt (called amoleh) were the basic currency in Abyssinia (now known as Ethiopia).
  • Salt was used to preserve Egyptian mummies.
  • The Bonneville Salt Flats — 30,000 smooth acres of potassium, magnesium lithium and sodium chloride — have been popular with racers since as far back as the 1890s.

 

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