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Why is ingesting salt bad?

by CrimpJiggler
Tags: ingesting, salt
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CrimpJiggler
#1
Oct24-12, 10:39 PM
P: 149
I regularly hear people say that eating salt is bad for the health and the heart etc. Why is this? I know that the bodies electrolites such as Na+, K+, Ca2+, Cl- etc. need to be balanced so ingesting too much NaCl will cause electrolyte imbalance, is that what people are referring to when they say salt intake is bad for the health? Can't that be counteracted by taking supplements such as potassium supplements etc?
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Greg Bernhardt
#2
Oct24-12, 10:44 PM
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You need sodium to function properly. It's all about how much. Most people get too much sodium in the diet due to eating fast or processed foods.

How Much Sodium Do Adults Need Daily?
http://www.livestrong.com/article/54...ts-need-daily/

Too Much Salt Hurting Majority of Americans
http://www.webmd.com/heart/news/2009...s-of-americans
Evo
#3
Oct24-12, 10:52 PM
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Quote Quote by CrimpJiggler View Post
I regularly hear people say that eating salt is bad for the health and the heart etc. Why is this? I know that the bodies electrolites such as Na+, K+, Ca2+, Cl- etc. need to be balanced so ingesting too much NaCl will cause electrolyte imbalance, is that what people are referring to when they say salt intake is bad for the health? Can't that be counteracted by taking supplements such as potassium supplements etc?
No, usually it has to do with water retention which is bad for people with high blood pressure. Recent studies have shown this to not necessarily be true.

I'll try to find the studies.

I'll just link to this article for now, it's is just an article.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...n-really-shows

Pkruse
#4
Oct25-12, 03:33 PM
P: 490
Why is ingesting salt bad?

I'm an old guy with a blood pressure problem, so I've talked this one over at length with my doctor. I need some salt for my body to function properly. The trouble is that my normal diet provides much more than I need. So he told me to cut down.

Then I get hauled to the emergency room in great pain, where they determine that I don't have enough salt in my system. They fix the problem by giving me salt pills. Then I'm OK.

So the discussion with my doctor continues. He finds that I often work hard out in the summer heat, and that when I do I sweat a great deal. Two or three gallons of sweat is common, and sometimes I drink up to five gallons of water without having to urinate. So he tells me that for my off nominal behavior, I need more salt. He recommended drinking one small bottle of a particular sports drink with each gallon of water to keep my electrolytes at a safe level. Then on days when I'm not working outside in the heat, go back to a minimum salt diet. This has worked well.
RabbitWho
#5
Oct29-12, 06:20 AM
P: 103
Quote Quote by Pkruse View Post
I'm an old guy with a blood pressure problem, so I've talked this one over at length with my doctor. I need some salt for my body to function properly. The trouble is that my normal diet provides much more than I need. So he told me to cut down.

Then I get hauled to the emergency room in great pain, where they determine that I don't have enough salt in my system. They fix the problem by giving me salt pills. Then I'm OK.

So the discussion with my doctor continues. He finds that I often work hard out in the summer heat, and that when I do I sweat a great deal. Two or three gallons of sweat is common, and sometimes I drink up to five gallons of water without having to urinate. So he tells me that for my off nominal behavior, I need more salt. He recommended drinking one small bottle of a particular sports drink with each gallon of water to keep my electrolytes at a safe level. Then on days when I'm not working outside in the heat, go back to a minimum salt diet. This has worked well.

That's very interesting. Amazing how complex our bodies are!
mazinse
#6
Oct31-12, 09:34 PM
P: 190
Quote Quote by CrimpJiggler View Post
I regularly hear people say that eating salt is bad for the health and the heart etc. Why is this? I know that the bodies electrolites such as Na+, K+, Ca2+, Cl- etc. need to be balanced so ingesting too much NaCl will cause electrolyte imbalance, is that what people are referring to when they say salt intake is bad for the health? Can't that be counteracted by taking supplements such as potassium supplements etc?
taking potassium doesnt do anything. The kidney in general has a great propensity to retain sodium and dump potassium. Sodium will be retained at the expense of all other eletrolytes
leroyjenkens
#7
Nov4-12, 07:50 AM
P: 536
Our taste buds specifically identify salt, and we also crave salt sometimes. If it was bad for our health, I don't think this would be the case.
D H
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Nov4-12, 08:24 AM
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Quote Quote by leroyjenkens View Post
Our taste buds specifically identify salt, and we also crave salt sometimes. If it was bad for our health, I don't think this would be the case.
We need some amount of salt in our diet. It is essential. You will die without any salt intake. However, you can also die with an extreme excess of salt intake, and a lesser (but still excessive) amount of salt intake is bad for your health.

We crave salt at least in part because salt intake was essential to our hominid ancestors who evolved as hunter-gatherers in a hot, dry climate. Lack of salt was a much, much bigger problem to our ancestors than was excess salt intake. Millions of years of evolution created cravings for things like salt and fat that when consumed in excess are harmful. We've only had a few hundred years where salt and fat are readily accessible. That's not near enough time for evolution to have accommodated to that huge change in diet. We crave what our ancestors needed rather than what we need now.
Evo
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Nov4-12, 09:12 AM
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Quote Quote by mazinse View Post
taking potassium doesnt do anything. The kidney in general has a great propensity to retain sodium and dump potassium. Sodium will be retained at the expense of all other eletrolytes
I'm not sure where you're getting your information. Potassium intake is extremely important.

A diet that includes natural sources of potassium is important in controlling blood pressure because potassium lessens the effects of sodium.
http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Condit...43_Article.jsp

In healthy individuals, the kidneys respond to excess sodium by flushing it out in the urine. Unfortunately, this also removes potassium. If potassium levels are low, the body tries to hoard it, which also means hanging onto sodium. Water follows sodium, leading to an increase in the amount of water in the body and the volume of blood in circulation. Blood pressure climbs, and the heart must work harder. Excess sodium blunts the ability of blood vessels to relax and contract with ease, and may also overstimulate the growth of heart tissue. All of these responses are made worse by low potassium intake.

In some people, especially those with high blood pressure, heart failure, or impaired kidney function, the kidneys hang onto sodium no matter what, further complicating the picture.

One way to flush sodium out of the body is by getting more potassium.
http://healthyliving.msn.com/disease...-dynamic-duo-1


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