Some in the community have started to argue that not only is the standard U. The problem with that notion is that most of the negative health effects of too much salt—high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, and autoimmune disease—have to do with the same culprit: simple sodium chloride. And sodium chloride is the same whether it comes in the form of coarse pink colored crystals or refined white table salt. Ultimately, most of the arguments supporting more salt in our diet are based on unproven theories and research that has been shown to have serious methodological flaws. A few years ago, we addressed this question of a high-salt diet and the many negative effects it can have on our health. So, in this series, we dive further into the question of how much salt humans should consume. More importantly, in this series we address the other side of the equation—potassium. Perhaps one of the most important, and overlooked, aspects of a healthy diet is the sodium:potassium ratio. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors typically ate a ratio between and The western diet is closer to or even sodium to potassium.
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The lunacy of the low-fat craze has taught most Paleo dieters to look at public health campaigns with a healthy dose of skepticism. It sounds logical, but governmental recommendations for sodium restriction are actually based on seriously flawed data and have the potential to do much more harm than good. Sodium is a naturally-occurring element found in everything from milk to beets to celery sticks. Sodium is crucial for maintaining proper muscle and nerve function and electrolyte balance. It helps maintain the volume of blood plasma, an important balance for heart health. Salt also aids in digestion by providing chloride to the hydrochloric acid HCL in your stomach. The body processes salt and maintains body fluid homeostasis primarily through a system called the RAAS renin-angiotensin-aldosterone hormonal system. The kidney is the primary organ involved — and in a healthy adult, it can adapt without a problem to a wide variety of dietary salt levels. If you eat a large amount of salt, your kidneys excrete more sodium, to reduce your blood plasma volume to normal levels.