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Warning: Eating too little salt is as bad for your heart as eating too much

by , 18 September 2014

You know how eating too much salt's bad for your health, but have you ever considered the effects eating too little has?

The Wall Street Journal says eating too little salt is just as likely to cause a heart attack or stroke as eating too much is!

So does that mean you should eat MORE or LESS salt?

We can see how it can be confusing! And that's why today, we're revealing the optimal amounts of salt you should eat on a daily basis.

Here’s how eating too little salt affects your heart health

 
Your heart suffers when you don’t eat enough salt.
 
That’s right!
 
Salt, or rather sodium the mineral that makes up salt, plays an essential part in your body and the processes within it.
 
One of the important roles of sodium is that it regulates the amount of water in your body. Because sodium moves freely across all your cell’s membranes, it follows other minerals that move around.
 
When the concentration of these other minerals – and thus that of sodium – becomes too strong, sodium signals your kidneys to hang onto water so it can dilute the concentration of the minerals.
 
When concentrations are too low, sodium again signals to your kidneys. This time, it tells them to get rid of more water to get mineral concentrations within your body balanced again.
 
While a very simple explanation, it shows how essential salt is within in your body. And how important it is for your heart health and blood pressure balance!
 
And there’s one more essential task sodium has that plays a huge role in your risk of heart attack when it’s not around.
 
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Your heartbeat relies on there being enough salt in your body

 
Sodium is one of the key messenger minerals for maintaining a regular heartbeat.
 
When there isn’t enough, your heart doesn’t make the right sort of energy and it doesn’t fire off properly.
 
So that’s two things salt does that’s essential for good heart health.
 

Your heart won’t be able to cope if you don’t have enough salt in your body

 
Not only will you not have the correct fluid balance in your body, leaving you with low blood pressure, your heart also won’t be able to beat properly.
 
So with too little blood and your heart stopping there’s no question why your heart fails.
 
And it’s all because you don’t eat enough salt or your body gets rid of it for some reason, like through exercise.
 
So when is it not enough?
 
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The daily-recommended amount of salt for healthy individuals is between 300mg and 2,400mg

 
300mg is at the very lower end of the scale. When your blood levels fall below this, that’s when the problems start.
 
2,400mg - one teaspoon of salt - is what the American Heart Association recommends as a normal daily intake.
 
So keep your body, heart and overall health happy by keeping your salt intake within this range every day. 

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