Salt was worth more than gold when pyramids were being constructed. Salt is important to human life processes and the functioning of the body; we cannot survive without it. It is important not just for palatability but much more, for preservation, refrigeration and processing. |
Eating salt is essential to our health. The important component in salt i.e. sodium is the essential requirement which carries out all the metabolic functions in the body. Sodium in salt is important to carry out several functions; respiration, excretion, maintaining plasma balance and more.
Although there is no dietary guideline as to how much salt is required for consumption but nutritionists recommend about 1 teaspoon as the total allowance.
Understanding the requirements of a human body, an average adult requires an intake of 4.2 g salt per day. The minimum requirement is 1.5 g of salt in a day.
What happens if I eat more salt?
Health experts indicate that excess salt consumption is linked to health problems especially high blood pressure. On average, daily consumption of an adult goes up to 10-12 g a day which is way beyond the recommended limit.
Salt is essential but it needs to be controlled. Excess salt is not required by the body and will lead to raising blood pressure. High blood pressure affects the heart, kidneys, vision and hence it is wise to go low on salt.
What should I do to control salt?
• Eat fresh foods, prepared without salt or salty seasonings most of the time. • Use flavorings other than salt, such as: lemon, vinegar, garlic, onion, salt and spices. • By making your own soups and pasta sauces you can cut out or limit the salt. • hile grocery shopping try and buy products that say very less sodium restricted sodium, no sodium. • While cooking try and avoid adding salt or add it at the end of preparation. • Ketchups, sauces, relishes, salad dressings all are high on salt and should be limited. • Cook fresh poultry, fish, and lean meat, rather than canned or processed types. • Prefer not to add/sprinkle salt to meals at the table. • Purchase ready-to-eat cereals with low sodium content
Salt is important. But, in moderation! You need to be cautious of your salt intake to ensure good health, always.
A low sodium diet will help keep the blood pressure in check and hence can help in reducing the incidence of heart attacks. Hence, avoid foods high in salt like pickles, papads, ketchups, smoked/cured foods and other foods preserved in brine. Reducing the amount of salt used for cooking, using herbs for enhancing the flavor of the cooked food and using salt-substitutes help in reducing the dependence on table salt.
The key to a healthy heart diet is to eat a high fiber diet, which is also low in salt, low in fat, particularly animal fat (ghee and butter) and oils high in saturated fats like coconut and palm oil.
For more information on diet, nutrition, health, weight loss or fitness contact DesiDieter Health and Diet Experts.
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