(BPT) - Salt, or sodium chloride, is essential for life. In fact, no mineral is more essential to human survival than sodium because it allows nerves to send and receive electrical impulses, helps your muscles stay strong, and keeps your cells and brain functioning. However, sodium chloride (salt) is a nutrient that the body cannot produce, and therefore it must be eaten.
The average American eats about 3,400 mg per day of sodium, according to The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
You may have heard that this is too much, but according to new research, it may actually be on the low side of the healthy range.
A 2014 study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, tested sodium consumption in more than 100,000 people in 17 countries. The study found that the healthy range for sodium consumption was between 3,000 and 6,000 mg per day. Eating more than 7,000 mg per day of sodium increases your risk of death or cardiovascular incidents, but not as much as eating less than 3,000 mg per day.
The low salt diet was significantly more harmful than the high salt diet.
I am watching my salt intake more now. I do miss the bag of salt/pepper potato chips.