Eat more sodium, scientists say

Recently, American scientists published the results of a study, according to which the recommended norms for sodium consumption adopted at the state level in the United States are greatly underestimated. Recall that sodium is found in significant amounts in salt, soda and a number of vegan foods (such as carrots, tomatoes and legumes).

Doctors believe that sodium and potassium are among the most important elements for health, the consumption of which must be maintained at the proper level. Currently, it is recommended to inject about 2300 mg of sodium into the body daily. But according to studies, this figure is greatly underestimated and, as such, does not even approximately correspond to the real physiological needs of an adult – and in fact, the consumption of such an amount of sodium is dangerous to health.

American doctors have found that a healthy daily intake of sodium is actually somewhere around 4000-5000 mg – that is, twice as much as previously thought.

Signs of a lack of sodium in the body are: • Dry skin; • Rapid fatigue, lethargy; • Constant thirst; • Irritability.

Sodium tends to accumulate in the tissues of the body, so if you do not consume salt and sodium-containing foods for one or two days, nothing bad will happen. Sodium levels can drop dramatically during fasting or with a number of illnesses. Chronic underconsumption of sodium is also very harmful to the body.

“Overdose” of sodium – the usual consequence of consuming a large amount of salt or salty foods – will quickly be reflected in the form of edema (on the face, swelling of the legs, etc.). In addition, excess salt can accumulate in the joints, causing a range of musculoskeletal disorders.

The government agencies responsible for setting the sodium intake (we are talking about the United States) have repeatedly rejected the claims of independent researchers about the urgent need to change the official norm – and are unlikely to do so now. The fact is that reduced sodium intake, although it causes some damage to health, at the same time also significantly lowers blood pressure. It is worth considering that increased pressure in the United States and a number of other developed countries is considered practically “public enemy number one”.

Increased pressure can contribute to increased conflict among citizens and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease – and increases mortality. Salt abuse is a common cause of chronic high blood pressure, along with the consumption of meaty foods.

Scientists believe that no matter what the recommendations of official medicine are, sodium intake should not be either underestimated or overestimated. It is important to consume at least approximately a healthy amount of this vital element daily: a short-term lack of sodium is compensated by sodium accumulated in the tissues, and its small excess is excreted in the urine.

The authors of the report advise against drastically increasing your intake of salty foods or salt, even if you think you are at risk for insufficient sodium intake, by consuming substantially less than the recommended 5g per day. Instead, it is recommended to seek qualified advice based on accurate blood tests. It is also worth considering that carrots, tomatoes, beets, legumes, and some cereals contain significant amounts of sodium – so the consumption of these foods as part of the diet reduces the lack of sodium.  



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