Sugar Vs. Salt: Which One is Worse?

Want to learn how to balance your blood sugar and lose weight naturally? Download my free checklist 7 Ways to Beat Your Sugar Cravings and Balance your Blood Sugar.

You may have heard the debates about sugar and salt. Which one is worse for your body and more important to avoid? The key is moderation for both sugar and salt, but research shows that sugar may have a slightly worse effect on your body than salt. “A 2014 review in the journal Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome also found that sugar can increase the negative effects of salt, too. Insulin orders your kidneys to retain sodium—and the more insulin the body produces, the more water and sodium the kidneys retain. The result? High blood pressure.”

Let’s dig in and learn a little bit more about sugar and salt:

Why you crave sugar and salt. Many people find it hard to stop eating sugary or salty food.  

Salty pretzels and chips or sugary soda and candy can be hard to avoid. They are both tempting and delicious, but they can wreak havoc with your diet.

You may be craving sugar and salt for several reasons. If you are dehydrated or you have not gotten enough rest, you may crave sweets and salty foods to provide you with a boost of energy. Your muscles may also be craving salt.  “Sodium, the primary component of salt, helps maintain healthy fluid levels in your body, ensures proper muscle function, and transmit nerve impulses throughout the body.”

Why sugar is dangerous. An excess amount of sugar increases the risk of obesity. It is also tied to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other health issues.

Kidney failure, strokes, and heart attacks are possible from eating excess sugar.

Why salt is dangerous. Too much salt is usually associated with the risk of high blood pressure. If your blood pressure is too high, the risk of heart attacks and strokes increases significantly.

An excess amount of salt may also cause fluid buildup in the body.

Sugar is more dangerous. Some experts believe that sugar is more dangerous because it can cause more issues and lead to more serious long-term health concerns.  “The American Diabetes Association’s goals for blood sugar control in people with diabetes are 70 to 130 mg/dL before meals, and less than 180 mg/dL after meals.”

Although some believe that sugar is worse for you than salt, it is crucial to remember that both can cause issues if you overeat. Whether you are diabetic or just looking to take control of your health, it is crucial to consume both salt and sugar in moderation and monitor your levels.

Take Control of What You Eat/Drink

Look for hidden sources of sugar and salt.  You probably do not add extra sugar to your food all the time. The same thing may be true for salt. However, you may be surprised at what might be hiding in your food and beverages.  People with diabetes have a higher chance of developing high blood pressure; this could increase their chances of developing cardiovascular disease.

Prepackaged meals and snacks tend to be filled with high levels of sugar and salt. Manufacturers add them to improve the longevity, taste, and flavor, but your health is affected. Before you buy processed food, take time to read the label to see how much sugar and sodium are inside. Frozen diet meals can have a tremendous amount of sodium. Look at this Lean Cuisine label.

Get in the habit of reading food labels

If you are in good health, the recommended dietary guidelines on sodium intake are 2300 mg per day, but if you have a chronic illness like high blood pressure, your daily intake is 1500 mg.  Eating this one meal is more than a third of your daily sodium allotment.  Per the Food and Drug Administration daily value chart, this would be considered in the high category.

Beverages are another common source of too much salt and sugar. Have you stopped to consider what is inside your favorite drink? Vegetable juices such as tomato juice tend to have a lot of sodium. While fruit juices can be loaded with sugar.

Restaurant and fast-food meals also have a tremendous amount of salt and sugar. The companies do this to make you love their food and come back for more. You may not realize how much is in the food because you cannot always get the ingredient list or see the full menu. Go ahead and ask them what is in your food! You will be more informed.

Limiting your sugar and salt intake is essential for your health.However, overeating sugar may hurt you even more than having too much salt. If you are worried about adverse health effects from the amount of sugar and salt you consume, consult your doctor to determine the safe amount for you.  To help your doctor see exactly what foods and beverages you are consuming, try keeping a food journal for 14 days before your visit.   This will give your physician a snapshot of what you are eating, and they can make recommendations to assist you with cutting back and finding better food options.

Do me a favor, share this post with a friend.  Until next week

With Peace and Love,

Coach Renee

PS Want to learn how to balance your blood sugar and lose weight naturally? Download my free checklist 7 Ways to Beat Your Sugar Cravings and Balance your Blood Sugar.

Published by Renee Reid

Welcome to the Diabetic Toolbox, where we are helping midlife folks win the battle against prediabetes. If you are prediabetic or have a family history of type 2 Diabetes you will find tools and tips to help you to lose weight naturally, heal your mindset, and strengthen your body through yoga and walking. So, if you are ready to heal connect and grow, you are in the right place. Join the Movement! Hosted by award-winning podcaster, certified health coach, and yoga teacher Renee Reid.

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