Finding the perfect balance
Salt plays a vital role in the functionality of our bodies and if we dramatically reduce our intake, it could be damaging.
Over recent years, we have been encouraged by various government-backed campaigns to cut down on our salt intake. It has been suggested that too much salt may damage our health and in particular, contribute to heart disease. However, what everyone needs to know is that by not getting enough salt, our bodies cannot function properly – and recent research even suggests that consuming too little salt may actually increase the risk of heart disease. Most of us don’t need to worry as a healthy body on a balanced diet will naturally excrete any excess unneeded salt.
Every gram of salt is made up from 40 per cent sodium and 60 per cent chlorine and both play a vital part in keeping our bodies functioning.
Sodium facilitates the transmission of nerve impulses around the body and regulates the electrical charges in and out of our cells. This means fluids and vital minerals can be passed into and out of each body cell depending on its individual needs. Sodium controls our taste and smell and helps our muscles contract, including the most important muscle of all – the Heart.
While Sodium is essential for muscle and cell functionality, the Chloride part of Salt is essential in the digestion process. It is used in the production by the body of Hydrochloric Acid in the stomach for digestion; it preserves the acid balance throughout the body and helps to carry carbon dioxide from tissues to the lungs.
So, what would happen if we took these vital functions away?
Well we wouldn’t feel very well. Our muscles would become weak and cramp, and we could suffer from heat exhaustion. Extremely low levels of salt can even be fatal.
Salt plays an important part in our healthy diet but moderation is the key. We should not fear salt but enjoy it, whether cooking with or just sprinkling some for added flavour and texture. As with anything we take into our bodies, the provenance and quality will have a direct impact upon our overall health and wellbeing. Why not try some of our Hebridean Sea Salt recipes on our blog and ensure that your salt intake is of the highest quality.
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