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Salt

Pass the Salt Shaker

August 30, 2022

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Odds are you’ve heard that too much salt is bad. That you’ll end up with high blood pressure. We’re here to say that’s a pinch off the mark. 

When reviewing some very large population studies–among 48 global populations, dietary intake of salt did NOT predict high blood pressure. In fact, those that consumed the most salt actually had the lowest average blood pressure compared to those who consumed the least amount of salt. 

Those who “seem” to consume more salt and have poor health outcomes, are also the same people who eat an ultra-processed diet and live a very sedentary lifestyle. So if you ask us, salt is only guilty by association. 

In fact, many of us are actually lacking enough salt in our diets. Yep, I said it. If you are leading a healthy lifestyle, cooking mostly at home, moving your body, you probably aren’t consuming enough. 

Sodium is an essential mineral. We need it to control blood volume, muscle contractions, regulate our nervous systems, and more. And we were so beautifully designed that our kidneys are incredibly efficient at excreting any excess salt. 

Salt helps us stay hydrated. Hot summer months or intense exercise can quickly lead to dehydration. Drink coffee or caffeine? You REALLY need the extra salt. Drinking either leads to large amounts of sodium depletion. In fact, we lose 1/4 teaspoon of salt per 2 cups of coffee in our urine. And any serious coffee drinkers I know are consuming way more than 2 cups. And when sodium levels are low, our bodies pull it from our bones–along with calcium and magnesium. So now we have three essential nutrients suffering. 

And let’s talk more about magnesium. If we don’t consume enough salt, our bodies excrete 10x the magnesium instead to make up for the low sodium levels; a way to conserve the sodium your body has. Yikes! 

Not to mention, the majority of us drink filtered or reverse osmosis water. Which is wonderful for the bad things it removes, but it also depletes the water of minerals. More reason to consume salt and other electrolytes!

Some signs you could be low in sodium include: 

-low energy

-headaches

-muscle cramps

-weakness

-insomnia

-malaise

-brain fog

If this sounds like you, pick up some of our LMNT packets. These are my most favorite way to replenish daily essential minerals. We have a variety of flavors and patients tell us they can definitely see the improvements! So, please pass the salt. 

  • Keri is the owner and one of our specialized practitioners at Nebraska Functional Medicine. You'll find her continually researching the latest science and connecting with renowned physicians to guide her care. Outside of the clinic, she is soaking up time as a momma to her littles and fulfilling her wanderlust.