I’ve gotten some recent questions about salt and sugar intake which i thought i would answer.
How much to eat? How much is too much? how to break a sugar addiction?
First off… salt is important, salt is necessary for functions in the body and cutting out salt completely can actually do alot more damage than eating a little more than necessary. Because generally speaking if you eat too much salt than you need you will feel more thirsty, but if you eat too little then your body can get out of balance and you may feel dizzy and get muscle twtiches along with other symptoms and can have worse consequences than just eating a little more salt than necessary.
And worrying about salt intake is usually only recommended to those who eat alot of processed food or to those who have a history of high blood pressure in their family or other illnesses related to high blood pressure. And if you are in neither of those groups then i wouldnt worry so much. Source
In sweden the recommended salt intake is 6g (i.e 2.4g sodium) which is roughly 1tsb, but most adults eat double as much.
I wouldnt worry too much about salt intake UNLESS you eat alot of processed food or use alot of salt in your cooking and then add even more salt when eating. So for example if you do alot of home cooking then choose to either 1) salt when cooking or 2) salt when eating, not both.
Salt gives flavour and it is necessary, but just like everything, its about balance. So if you eat alot of processed then maybe skip salting your food at the table. However if you make alot of food yourself and alot of the food is whole foods and not processed then it can actually be a good idea to add a little salt.
There are actually alot of people who are obsessed with clean eating and think salt is the worst and they end up drinking 3-5l and not adding any salt to their food and end up with consequences. Also remember if you workout and sweat alot, you need to replace those lost salts/electrolytes!
I wrote a post about salt intake HERE.
And which salt to use amongst all the edible salts available?
Well my recommendation personally is that if you salt your food at the table, choose one such as herbamare because it doesn’t have as much salt compared to the reglar plain white “table salt”. However when cooking then the plain white table one is usually the best as it is c.a 95-99% sodium chloride i.e the strongest flavour and you only need a little. Table salt does have its benefits if it is iodized as you do need iodine – unless you have an illness that means you need to be aware of your iodine intake. All the other salts have different colours, textures, slightly different mineral composition and taste a little different, so just choose the one you like best! I personally like sea salt and herbamare best!
Read more about the different salts HERE
What about sugar? Ive written several posts about sugar and sugar addiction which you can read about instead:
One thing i want to mention though is that in the past i used to think that there was such a thing as a “sugar addiction”, now i dont know whether i believe in that. I DO believe that people can be addicted to food and certain types of food for different reasons whether its physical or mental or emotional reasons. But addicted to sugar…. not really. I mean you dont crave actual white sugar… you dont want to get a spoon and put it into a sugar bag. YOU DO however crave certain specific foods which contain both sugar and fat and are very processed. You can get angry, irritated, tired and all of those things if you dont get specific foods, but its not specifically sugar…. compared to caffeine, tobacco, alcohol or drugs… then its that specific drug/substance. But with sugar, i believe its the actual food and the combination of processed white sugar and fat which the person needs. And it can be because the food gives a rush of serotonin and happiness, or it could be that the person needs more energy and a cookie gives that energy or happiness, or it could be that that food just gives a sense of comfort or whatever other reason. But i think it is very important to find the reason that you may be craving the certain sugary processed food….. is it stress, emotions, anxiety, tiredness, physical reasons? It makes it so much easier to deal with those cravings and stop the binges and cravings if you know why they come about.
According to a study HERE sugar can be addictive and for people with bulimia or binge eating disorder sugary foods can be more of an addiction and problem compared to others with strong cravings, withdrawls, change in personality which is similar to withdrawl symptoms from alcohol or drug abuse. But whether its food cravings or sugar cravings and wheter it can be called a sugar addiction or not is still not defined.
You can read more from my previous posts about sugar below:
Just remember that sugar isnt necessarily bad. Its all about balance… sometimes all you need is a chocolate cupcake and other times all you need is a raw food ball or a banana. Be ok with eating sugar it wont harm you, but find YOUR balance with sugar. Some people are more sensitive to it, some people need less of it because of a family history with diabetes or others just dont like the taste of sugar so much and thats ok. But find what works for you and most of all, dont be scared of it. Because the anxiety and the fear and the guilt in connection with sugar will harm and hurt you so much more than sugar eaten now and again, ever will!!