In today’s article, we are going to be answering the question is sodium bad for you and specifically when it comes to low carb diets such as keto. It has long been assumed that too much sodium in your diet will increase your blood pressure. And it turns your risk of heart attack and stroke but is this really the case sodium is an essential mineral after all.
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It helps to maintain fluid balance in and around our cells and tissues. It is also essential for nerve and muscle function including the function of our largest and most important muscle in the body the heart. A healthy individual will have about 16 grams of sodium circulating in their bloodstream at any given time. So why does the American heart association tell us we should consume less than 1.5 grams a day.
In today’s article we are going to break down and answer all of these questions and ultimately conclude whether too much sodium is bad for you. Hey, guys welcome back to my blog. If you’re new here my name is Kait I’m a health coach. I post articles on a high-fat nutrient-dense way of eating. If you like this article please give it a thumbs up feel free to share and make sure to subscribe and make sure to follow me on Instagram twitter and Facebook. Where i should do posts every single day.
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For everything from websites and online stores to marketing tools and analytics squarespace is the all-in-one platform that does. It all head to squarespace.com forward slash health coach kait to start your free trial today we’re going to start off today talking about the basics what sodium is, what salt is. The role they play in our body and then we will get into whether having too much sodium in your diet is bad for you Sodium and salt. let’s start off by talking about the difference between sodium and salt because these two words often get used interchangeably.
Salt is made up of 40 sodium and 60 chloride and it is thought to be the sodium and salt that is detrimental to our health and that really is all there is to it sodium partially. Makes up salt and sodium is essential to our health for a few reasons. Most of the sodium in our body is either in our bloodstream or in the fluid. That surrounds our cells and its presence is required in order to keep these fluids in balance.
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As I mentioned at the start sodium is also necessary for proper nerve and muscle function. This is why you might experience muscle cramps when you are exercising. Especially if you’re pushing it really hard or if it’s really hot it we lose sodium through our sweat. When levels become low we can experience muscle cramping and this is why sports drinks are so popular with athletes.
These drinks are meant to replenish electrolytes including sodium but I am in no way making a case for you to drink Gatorade drinks. Like this are packed with sugar and artificial sweeteners. My point is is that it is well known that sodium is something we need especially when we are active. So I think that this campaign against sodium is a bit hypocritical is too much sodium bad for you. Now the thinking behind too much sodium being bad for us stems from something known as the salt blood pressure hypothesis.
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The salt blood pressure hypothesis has been around since the early 1990s. It was developed off one study done on six patients and the hypothesis is as follows eating salt drives the body to crave and drink more water. The water is retained by the body to dilute the excess sodium. This retained water increases blood volume and therefore increases blood pressure leading to hypertension and premature death. Now here is the first reason why this hypothesis is incorrect the kidneys process 1.5 kilos or 3.3 pounds of sodium every single day.
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Yes a kilo and a half the average American consumes about 8 grams of salt per day which is only a drop in the bucket of what your body processes every day is an extra 4 grams of salt a day. Really going to make a difference it’s not likely when we consume less salt our kidneys reabsorb more of what we already have. The second fact that totally debunks this hypothesis is that clinical studies have shown that 80 percent of people who have normal blood pressure do not see any increase to their blood pressure.
When they consume more salt none at all and 70 of those with pre-hypertension. 50 of those with hypertension are also not affected however for those who are salt sensitive meaning their blood pressure does increase with salt intake. When they decrease sugar consumption they are no longer affected. So yes there is a small percentage of people who do see a slight increase in their blood pressure. When they consume more salt however sugar seems a little bit more at fault. Here now for those of us eating a low carb diet.
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Whether that be keto carnivore or another variation sodium is extra important under consuming it can lead to serious side effects and i’m going to get more into that in just one second but first i’m going to take a quick moment to tell you about today’s sponsor squarespace. Squarespace is the all-in-one platform that provides you everything from domains and website templates to email newsletter tools and analytics no matter if you are an entrepreneur a photographer a restaurant owner or a blogger squarespace gives you the tools you need to build a beautiful website and run your business their style editor makes it easy to customize your website with different fonts colors layouts and effects and one of my favorite things about squarespace is that you can manage your email list and email campaigns right on their platform this makes keeping your newsletter subscribers updated easy and seamless and the best part is is that you can start a free 14-day trial squarespace without having to enter your credit card details or anything simply head to squarespace.com forward slash health coach kate to start your free trial and when you love it and decide to launch use code health coach kate to save 10 off your first order thank you again to squarespace for sponsoring this video sodium for low carb all right so as i already mentioned sodium is of significant importance when you are eating a low carb diet when we limit carbs in our diet our insulin levels fall significantly and this causes our bodies to excrete more water and more electrolytes including sodium you may have heard or experienced the dreaded keto flu when you first switch to the keto diet and a lot of the symptoms of the keto flu are due to this loss of sodium not being replenished the vast majority of sodium people are consuming nowadays comes from processed food so it makes sense that when you switch to a low carb diet and you cut out a lot of this processed food you are getting less sodium as a result and there are additional risks to not consuming enough sodium that aren’t often talked about when you are not consuming enough salt the body activates salt retaining hormones these hormones save your life in the short term but damage your body in the long term by harming vital organs including stiffening of the heart and blood vessels low salt diets have been shown to have numerous negative health outcomes on the body including accelerated hardening of the arteries compromised kidney function increased insulin resistance increased sugar cravings increased appetite accumulation of visceral fat increased fasting insulin and that’s just to name a few our biological system naturally drives us to be in a sodium surplus and this is because it prevents dehydration infection and blood loss and our bodies have the ability to excrete excess sodium so over consumption should be of little concern ideally you want to be consuming around four thousand to seven thousand milligrams of sodium a day which is about two to three teaspoons of salt you might need a bit more if you are very active or if you live in a hot climate but start with this and see how you feel salt your food liberally and add a pinch of salt to your water as well but anyways that is all i have for you today so in summary no sodium is not bad for you and if you’ve cut processed food out of your diet it is pretty likely that you are now not getting enough sodium and also keep in mind that your body has mechanisms to excrete excess sodium so you really can’t consume too much let me know in the comment section down below if you have ever eaten a low sodium diet and if you noticed any effects it had on your body also if you liked this video please give it a thumbs up and subscribe if you’re not already and remember to check out today’s sponsor squarespace i will put the link in the promo code in the description box down below if you guys did like this video you might also like my article on signs of hypoglycemia and what you can do about it which you can find right here if you want to catch up on my most recent upload you can find it here and if you want to check out my keto diet and carnivore diet coaching programs you can find them here thanks guys i’ll see you next time bye