Image Source : Flickr , Labelled for Reuse
Pune : 27-Sep-2017
Pinch of Salt
Salt has been a highly valuable commodity throughout the history of mankind. It is so highly regarded that,terms like “Worth Their Salt”are used widely to describe a persons integrity.
Table salt or common salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride(NaCl).
Salt is perhaps most well known for its roles as a food preservative and flavouring agent .
Many food item like fruits and vegetables naturally contain sodium.Our food now a days contains huge amount of sodium,especially in packed and processed foods.As we prefer easy and ready to cook meals over fresh meals,the risk to our health is increasing .
Sources of High Sodium Food
Canned Products,Processed and packed foods
Pickles and pickled foods
Pizza,potato chips and fast food
Processed meat products like sausages,salami.
Though Sodium plays an important role in electrolyte balance and nerve impulse in the body,excess amount can be very harmful to the body.
Everyone including kids should reduce their sodium content to less then 2300mg per day.
Adults with medical conditions like blood pressure,Diabetes or Chronic kidney diseases should further reduce their sodium intake to 1500mg/day.
Effects of Excess Salt on the Body
High Blood Pressure
Kidney dysfunction. In severe condition can lead to kidney failure.
Edema, the swelling of extra fluid in body tissue.bloating and swelling over knees,ankles etc.
Foods high in sodium like chips or salted popcorn's can make you feel more thirsty.High Sodium in these foods disturb the balance of fluids in your body. The body needs more water to balance the salts thus making you thirsty.
The brain feels foggy.Salty foods affect the cognitive function
If you eat too much salt, the extra water stored in your body raises your blood pressure. So, the more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure. The higher your blood pressure, the greater the strain on your heart, arteries, kidneys and brain. This can lead to heart attacks, strokes, dementia and kidney disease.
Ways to Reduce Salt Intake
Use fresh,rather than packaged meat or meat products.
Choose fresh fruits and vegetables instead of canned and frozen.
Begin reading food labels as sodium content is always listed on the labels.
Select spice and seasonings that do not list sodium on their labels.
Reduce the amount of salt while cooking.
Use spices, herbs,lemon juice to enhance the flavor of food.
Salt preference is an acquired taste that can be unlearned. It takes about 3-6 weeks to get used to eating food with much lower quantities of salt.
We are right now in middle of Global Sodium Crisis. The detrimental effect of High Sodium foods has made restaurants in United States Of America mandatory to mention sodium content in their food.
Its time we take this scenario seriously. Clever choices in buying food items and controlling the salt used in cooking at home will help us in the long run.
Do Enjoy Food-But With a Pinch Of Salt!
Archita Bandellu ( Know More)
Sports & Clinical Nutrition Expert
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