Q: How important is it really to avoid salt? Do you lose enough salt through sweat when you exercise to offset possible salt overload in your diet?
– Mary

A: No need to totally avoid salt, but everyone should cut back. The research overwhelming and consistently shows that even in people with “normal” blood pressure, reducing salt intake lowers blood pressure and helps prevent hypertension down the road. We only need about 700milligrams a day and the maximum intake should not exceed 2400mg a day, yet most Americans consumed many, many times more than that, mostly from processed foods. In answer to your question about losing salt in sweat, you lose much more water than salt when you sweat, which further concentrates the excess salt in the body. Drink lots of water and reduce intake of processed foods, from canned soups and frozen entrees to snack foods and fast foods. It’s really not that hard…just eat real food that is as unprocessed as possible – eat the baked potato not the fries, the fresh broccoli not the broccoli in cheese sauce, the oatmeal not the granola bar, etc.. – Elizabeth Somer