A Biochemist On How To Balance Your Salt-Potassium Ratio

It has everything to do with the sodium-potassium relationship: According to the available literature, too little potassium in food and too much sodium can raise blood pressure (which is why people with high blood pressure or high blood pressure often go on a low sodium diet).

But, according to Wolf, it's important to keep the sodium-potassium ratio balanced and not to remove sodium from the equation entirely. "If you lower your sodium-potassium ratio just a little bit, it can be a really gnarled downward spiral," he says.

For example, if you lose sodium, Wolf says, your body will excrete potassium in an attempt to reach the new, lower balance. "This can lead to a really terrible downward spiral," says Wolf, since too little potassium is linked to muscle weakness, high blood sugar and, in some severe cases, even cardiac arrhythmias. On the other hand, too high a potassium level is considered a risk factor for heart failure.

The final result? Sodium is necessary to maintain balance, so we shouldn't actively avoid it. Of course, wolf is referring to high quality sea salt, not the sodium found in processed foods. "Once we pull out the processed foods, sodium may not be the dangerous thing we originally thought it was," he says.

Functional Medicine Physician Frank Lipman, M.D., agrees, "Your salt intake is usually too high because of all of the processed foods. If you omit that, salt won't be an issue," he once told us.

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