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What's Wrong With Salt?

We All Get Too Much Salt

Common salt is a compound of sodium (Na) and chloride (Cl) ions. All life needs salt – or more particularly sodium - to survive.

We need salt, so we're built to like the taste of it in our foods. But in modern life, salt and sodium are too easy to get, so we get way too much in our diet.

Many of us are salt-sensitive - we're less-able to get rid of any excess. Sodium is used by the body to maintain fluid balance, so retaining too much sodium means we also retain more water than our body is built to cope with. Elevated blood pressure is the result.

Lowering our salt intake is always a good idea, but if we discover we're salt-sensitive it's especially important.

The best way to reduce the retained sodium in our bodies is not to eat it in the first place. Here are a few highly-effective strategies.

  • Prepare your own meals from fresh, unprocessed food. Don't add sauces, condiments or anything that contains sodium.
  • Avoid pre-prepared and packaged foods. Most of our dietary sodium comes from these.
  • Avoid baked goods. These usually contain baking soda (sodium bicarbonate).


Less salt for high BP

Less salt for high BP

Lessons from Samantha Heller, Clinical Nutritionist at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.
How too much salt affects your body not just the heart.

How too much salt affects your body not just the heart.

This UK article discusses the ill effects of too much salt in your body.