Is salt good or bad for us? The answer to this question is not so simple. Sodium and chloride are both vital minerals, used for nerve transmission/impulse conduction, fluid balance and muscle contraction. Not having enough sodium will cause hyponatremia, a life threatening condition that occurs when someone sweats out too much sodium, or drinks too much water and upsets their fluid balance.
There are some people for whom salt is problematic, but there is no test for “salt sensitivity” and even the condition itself is not fully clarified. It may be related to race, gender, or age, as well as a possible genetic link. Because you can’t predict who is salt-sensitive, we’re left with creating generalized recommendations that may not actually benefit sensitive individuals, and may also harm the rest of the population.
How does lowering salt intake actually cause harm? It can cause cardiovascular disease , hypertension, increased cholesterol and triglycerides, and decreased cognitive abilities.
The current U.S. recommendation for salt intake is 2,300 mg/day. The American Heart Association would prefer that everyone consume as little as 1,500 mg/day, clinging to antiquated, unproven research. The most important issue is to consume the right kind of salt. Sea salt, though more expensive, contains essential minerals and nutrients that are removed from table salt during the refining process.