Salt is one of the most basic and most important ingredients of all when we are preparing a meal. But while salt is very necessary to give taste to any kind of food, excess of salt intake can prove to be really harmful for the health.
It is a well-known fact that excessive salt intake can lead to problems of high blood pressure. Research reveals that a lot of salt intake can lead to fluid retention that adds pressure on the heart since it has to pump more fluid. Experts suggest that fluid retention is also one of the causes of obesity. This is the reason that people who like to constantly snack on sodium rich foods are obese.
Besides these two major health problems that can be seen in the society today, there are other health issues that are closely related to excessive salt intake. For example hypertension, stroke, arthritis and osteoporosis are some of the other serious diseases that may result when the diet contains a lot of salt.
It is imperative to note here when we say ‘salt’, we are basically referring to the chemical Sodium which together with Chlorine, makes ‘Sodium Chloride’ or ‘Salt.’ Therefore we not only ingest salt when we are using the table salt shaker, we are consuming a whole lot of sodium through packed and processed foods as well as they use Sodium in various forms to give flavour and as preservative; like Sodium Glutamate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Ascorbate and Sodium Nitrite. So basically if you are looking to cut down salt from your diet, you are actually searching for ways to cut back on the Sodium.
- The first thing that you need to do is to remove the salt shaker from the table. For most people it becomes a habit to sprinkle some salt rather than a necessity. If you do need to sprinkle something, use garlic, lemon or herb powder instead.
- When you are shopping at big stores, search or ask for foods that are marked as ‘Low-Sodium Foods.’ For health reasons, it is going to be mentioned on many brands.
- You will be amazed to know just how much salt, the regular sauces likes Soy Sauce and Worcestershire Sauce contains. So limit your use of that; instead look for healthy alternatives on the net.
- Since now you know that ‘Sodium’ is basically ‘Salt.’ So in case, it is not mentioned on the package, you can read it for yourself on the ingredient list. Try to avoid those foods that contain high sodium content.
- It is best to buy and eat fresh vegetables or frozen vegetables because those that are tinned also contain good amount of sodium which is used as preservative.
- Try to avoid using salt when you are cooking because one often tends to add a lot during cooking. For example, if you are making burger patties, sprinkle some on it once they are cooked rather than adding lots of it in the meat.
- Packaged meals can be convenient but they do offer a good dose of sodium too so avoid those.
- Fast foods are other common routes through which we not only get extra fat into our body but salt too.
- Cured or prepared meats such as ham and hunter beef contain a lot of salt, so stay away from them.
- Salad dressings prepared at home are good alternatives to the packaged, salty dressings.
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