Salt Is Not Always A Negative Health Factor

July 12, 2011 by  
Filed under featured, Health

Salt, like butter, has become a bit of a ‘health demon’ in recent years – though not by me. Obviously drowning your food in salt is not a good idea health wise – or taste wise – but in moderation I don’t have a problem with it and now new research backs that up and indicates it can be just as dangerous to have a low intake.

Salt In Pregnancy:
The link between high salt intake and high blood pressure is well established, but a new study published in the American Journal of Physiology has found that consuming too little sodium is also damaging. According to researchers from both the University of Heidelberg in Germany and the University of Aarhus in Denmark, women who consume too much or too little sodium during pregnancy can end up with children with poorly-developed kidneys, which in turn can cause a lifetime of heart problems.

Building upon previous studies that identified a link between excessive sodium intake and low birth weights, high blood pressure, and kidney problems, the new study identifies similar developmental deficits from too little sodium intake. Mothers who had both too little, and too much, were affecting their babies development during between the crucial developmental period of 1 – 12 weeks. Principally, this concerned the kidneys and ability to carry out their vital function of filtering the blood and creating urine waste.

If you are concerned about diet in pregnancy then there is an excellent website which gives good information provided by the British Nutrition Foundation. It is a free online resource for parents and health professionals at

Salt In Adulthood:
If you have been virtuously ‘passing’ on the salt to reduce your risk of heart disease then the bad news is it won’t have made any difference. The good news is that a sensible amount won’t reduce your chance of dying early.

A systematic review of nearly six and a half thousand patients, published in the latest edition of The Cochrane Library, has shown that a moderate reduction in the amount of salt you eat doesn’t reduce your likelihood of dying or experiencing cardiovascular disease.

In the UK, the National Institute of Health and Clinical Guidance (NICE) has recently called for an acceleration of the reduction in salt in the general population from a maximum intake of 6g per day per adult by 2015 to 3g by 2025 and most food manufacturers are working to remove it from their products so your intake is being gradually reduced by external circumstances.

So which salt is best?
Moderation seems to be the key – as it is with most health food issues – and it’s really important to know that not all sodium is the same. The ones to avoid are processed table salt and chemical salt derivatives like monosodium glutamate because these are the true culprits that bring about heart disease.

The best option is to go for full-spectrum sea and mineral salts like Himalayan Pink Crystal Salt as these contain beneficial trace minerals and elements that are vital to health.