What you don’t know about Sodium!

salt

Who doesn’t love salt and why wouldn’t we? It tastes amazing and acts as a natural preservative, keeping our food from spoiling! However, it’s also a key component of our diet for more than just our tastebuds. Salt is our main source of sodium chloride, a vital micronutrient that we require for muscle contraction, nerve stimulation and fluid regulation. Although, a delicate balance is required – not enough sodium can disrupt the previously stated functions, while consuming over-and-above the recommended intake, can lead to heart disease and stroke. So, what is the recommended sodium consumption and how can we start to combat this issue?

The National Health and Medical Research Council has set the suggested daily dietary intake as 1600mg, for adults, which in today’s world is increasingly easy to exceed. In fact, on average, Australian’s consume nearly double this requirement. Time-poor circumstances and busy schedules has sadly lead to replacing home cooked meals with readily available and easy to prepare, processed ‘foods’ (if we can even call it food), which almost always contains ridiculous levels of sodium. To top this off we add additional salt to our meals, just to satisfy those demanding tastebuds. Let’s put it into perspective… a regular Big Mac Meal contains approximately 1135mg of sodium, which is over 70% of our daily requirement!

So how do we combat this issue and reduce our daily intake? Other than the obvious modification of decreasing processed foods and cooking our meals using fresh ingredients, we can also substitute the white table salt, a staple at every dinner table, with pink Himalayan salt.

So, what’s the Difference?
The new craze of substituting with pink Himalayan salt is one trend we should all adopt. It is made up of similar components to normal refined table salt, tastes just as good, if not better, and also contains a lower sodium content per serve. In addition, it performs many other beneficial functions within the body, including:
–  Electrolyte balance;
–  Increased hydration;
–  Fluid regulation;
–  pH/alkaline stability;
–  Decreases blood pressure;
–  Strengthens bones;
–  Improves circulation;
–  Removes toxins;
–  Improves metabolism efficiency .

That’s a Wrap!
Embracing sodium as one of the key components to a healthy and balanced diet, in combination with a strong macronutrient (protein, carbohydrates and fat) focus, will provide you with a stronger foundation for overall well-being. However, because of the high quantities of sodium, hidden in a vast amount of processed foods, it is imperative for us to track our intake. Pink Himalayan salt may not solve the entire issue, however there are absolutely no adverse effects from making the switch! Not only will you decrease your daily sodium intake, you will increase the functionality of many other internal processes. During your next supermarket visit, be sure to take notice of the sodium content in your normal purchases. Are you having too much or too little? If so, what are you going to do about it? My suggestion… think pink!

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Sarah Major
sarah@thechieflife.com