Sodium is an essential mineral that plays a number of important roles in the body. It helps to regulate blood pressure, fluid balance, and muscle and nerve function. While too much sodium can be harmful, there is some evidence to suggest that a moderate amount of sodium in the diet is not necessarily a bad thing, and may not have the negative effects that are frequently reported.
Sodium takes the spotlight when maintaining electrolyte balance while following a low-carb diet since urinary sodium loss without replacement tells the kidneys to reabsorb sodium at the expense of potassium. Sodium is also essential for proper muscle and nerve function, some studies suggest that consuming between 3-6 grams of sodium per day is optimal.
- We’ve been taught to avoid sodium because of its links to high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes, but there’s evidence that salt isn’t as unhealthy as we’ve been led to believe.
- Not eating enough salt can be harmful to the body and trigger an increase in glucose, a reduction of blood flow to organs, and the loss of too much magnesium and calcium in our sweat.
- Your body will give you signs when you’re not consuming enough salt, like thirst, salt cravings, less urine output, and more.
- Optimum sodium intake is around 3,000-5,000 milligrams per day for most people on non-workout days and around 5,000- 7,000 milligrams on workout days.
The average can of soup contains between 1,400 and 1,800 milligrams of sodium, a serving/cup French onion soup contains about 1028mg, 400-500mg sodium is in a medium size blueberry muffin. A high-quality ketone supplement, KetoStart from Audacious Nutrition contains 4 electrolytes to help maintain electrolyte balance, with 1065mg sodium/serving.
Recent studies into sodium and its effect on insulin
One study that looked at the effects of sodium on insulin resistance found that low-salt diets actually led to an increase in insulin resistance. The study, which was published in the Journal of Insulin Resistance, conducted 23 human clinical trials and showed that low-salt diets led to issues such as systemic or vascular insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, elevated fasting insulin and/or elevations in glucose and/or insulin levels after an oral glucose tolerance test. Researchers concluded that caution should be advised when recommending salt restriction for blood pressure control, as it may lead to worsening insulin resistance. Their findings also suggest that low-salt diets can induce insulin resistance.
Another study, which was published in the journal Hypertension, found that a moderate amount of sodium in the diet may actually help to improve insulin sensitivity. The study, which was conducted in over 1,000 people, found that those who consumed a moderate amount of sodium (around 2,300 milligrams per day) had better insulin sensitivity than those who consumed either a low-sodium diet (around 1,500 milligrams per day) or a high-sodium diet (around 3,100 milligrams per day).
A moderate amount of sodium in the diet may help to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Research studies suggest that there is a balance to be struck when it comes to sodium intake. Too much sodium can be harmful, but too little sodium may also have negative health consequences. A moderate amount of sodium in the diet may actually be beneficial for health.
Sodium and insulin resistance:
- Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body’s cells do not respond normally to insulin. This can lead to high blood sugar levels and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Sodium can affect insulin resistance in a number of ways. It can increase the amount of insulin that is needed to control blood sugar levels. It can also make cells more resistant to the effects of insulin.
- Low-salt diets can worsen insulin resistance by increasing the amount of sodium that is absorbed from the gut. This can lead to higher blood sugar levels and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- A moderate amount of sodium in the diet may help to improve insulin sensitivity by reducing the amount of sodium that is absorbed from the gut. This can lead to lower blood sugar levels and a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Low-salt diets and insulin resistance
The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the “fight-or-flight” response. When it is activated, it releases hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenaline. These hormones can increase blood sugar levels and make cells more resistant to the effects of insulin.
The RAAS (renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system) is a hormonal system that helps to regulate blood pressure. When it is activated, it releases hormones such as angiotensin II. Angiotensin II can increase blood sugar levels and make cells more resistant to the effects of insulin.
Sodium is an important mineral that helps to regulate blood pressure and fluid balance. When sodium levels are low inside the cells, it can increase blood sugar levels and make cells more resistant to the effects of insulin. Not everyone who follows a low-salt diet will experience insulin resistance. However, the risk is higher for certain groups of people, such as younger individuals with normotension or prehypertension.