Salt Diet: Tips To Play Safe With Salt
We have always been advised to use minimum salt, due to its association with high blood pressure. But, the question arises, how much is too much? Shreya Brahme, Dietician and Nutritionist and blogger at Dietician Shreya, helps us understand how salt affects our health and what steps to take in order to lower the risk.
‘Salt’- is also known as table salt or rock salt. Most of us assume that salt and sodium are the same thing, but that is not true. The truth is table salt is 40 per cent sodium and 60 per cent chloride. It is the sodium portion of salt that people with high blood pressure should be most concerned with. Besides, sodium is not just present in salt it is also present is some foods. So, be careful while choosing your food.
You don’t have to totally get rid of sodium from your diet, because it plays an important role in maintaining the water balance within cells and in the function of both nerve impulses and muscles. Our body is so well created that any extra sodium is excreted by the kidneys automatically.
Besides, keep your sodium intake minimum, because consuming excess sodium may lead to edema or water retention. Women who consume excess sodium may be at a higher risk for developing osteoporosis even if their calcium intake is adequate. Some evidence suggests that for each teaspoon of salt (2,000 mg of sodium) consumed, considerable calcium is excreted in the urine.
Follow these simple tips to be safe and healthy:
• Read the nutrition facts label while shopping to find the lowest sodium options of your favourite foods.
• Choose fresh fruits, vegetables and meat.
• Season foods with herbs and spices rather than salt.
• Make your own condiments, dressings and sauces and keep sodium-containing ingredients at a minimum.
• Taste your food before you add salt to it.
• If using canned food, rinse in water to remove some of the salt before preparing or serving.
• Avoiding using extra salt while eating.
• Cover up some of the holes on the salt shaker or take it off the table. Learn to enjoy the food’s natural taste.
• Choose and prepare foods with little salt. At the same time, consume potassium rich foods like fruits and veggies, beans peas and milk products.
• Sodium is one factor that can cause high blood pressure.
• Sodium is a component of salt; table salt is 40 per cent sodium and 60 per cent chloride.
• Most foods contain some sodium because they are naturally present.
• The maximum recommended level of sodium intake is 2,300 mg per day.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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