Salt - how much is too much?

Sam Bourne

On average salt consumption per day is 10g however our recommended daily allowance is no more than 6g which is way too high for optimum health – OUR BODILY REQUIREMENT IS ONLY 0.8grams to1.5g OF SODIUM PER DAY according to individual needs. The rest is just toxic to the body. Children do tend to consume less as they eat less - however it's all relative.

Salt is mainly made up of sodium molecules. This is an essential mineral in the body. It acts as an electrolyte which regulates fluid levels in the body which is important for maintaining a healthy blood pressure. It is involved with muscle contraction, nervous function and nerve pain. It also aids the absorption of nutrients within the intestine. Over consumption of salt can cause water retention leading to high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries. Kidney damage can occur as a result of the high blood pressure. An imbalance of electrolytes can occur, and it can trigger the loss of calcium leading to bone thinning and osteoporsis.

The affect of excess sodium in the tissues is a major cause of toxicity throughout the body, potassium is needed in the cells – to get the sodium out of the cells we need the correct amount of potassium. most people do not consume enough potassium rich foods. There can be no true healing or well being until sodium levels in the body are reduced and brought to a natural level.

The daily dietary requirements for sodium for an adult is per day is 0.8g – 1.5g , for children much less. We only require salt every day due to loss through sweating and excretion. This amount can easily be obtained from the food we eat without adding salt, or if the diet has no sodium containing foods (like fresh vegetables, cheese, meats) then a pinch on seasalt is enough. Our bodies recycle most of the sodium we use. Adults are currently over consuming on average 9.2g – 8.5g more sodium than our body requires per day.

If you consider that all junk foods, ready made sandwiches and meals, and restaurant foods contain high amounts of sodium. Foods as simple as bread and cereals can contain so much sodium that you go over even the RDA of 6g easily. These are all foods that even young children can have in their diet - espcially cereals.

Always check the label for sodium content - remember adults only require 0.80g-1.5g depending on their size, small children require less.

When you may need more salt than the average requirement:

There is an increased requirement for sodium intake during periods of intense exercise such as a marathon as salt and water is lost through sweat. Other losses may be due to illnesses which cause vomiting or diarrhoea. Bleached table salt should be avoided as it is often lacking in many minerals and can cause you to crave even more salt as the body craves the minerals. The mineral rich Pink Himalayan salt, is ideal for gaining all the trace minerals you need.