Optimum salt diet
It is known that a low salt diet benefits those who suffered from hypertension and some other diseases. But, salt is also essential for living beings. Low consumption of salt could lead to other problems. So, what is the optimum amount of salt that one should take to remain healthy and free from hypertension?
Low salt diet – Alternatives to spice up your meal
Salt is the most frequently used food seasoning. Salt composed of sodium chloride and today’s salt is produced in the form of unrefined salt, refined salt and iodized salt. Salt provides the human body with sodium, which is the main electrolyte in the human body. Sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium can be found in unrefined salt. By consuming too much or too little salt can cause electrolyte disturbance, which in turn could cause other neurological problems.
Excessive consumption of salt is linked to hypertension (high blood pressure), left ventricular hypertrophy, edema (usually of the legs), duodenal ulcers, gastric ulcers and even stomach cancer. Physiologically, when a person consume salt, the sodium intake will increase water retention and is often associated with swelling.
The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), in the year of 2003, recommended that an adult should have an intake of 4g of salt per day (70 mmol of sodium). However, studies found out that the normal intake of salt for average adult is almost 2 and a half time more than what recommended by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition of UK. Dietary Guidelines for Americans in 2005 published that they suggest the US citizens consume less than 2,300mg of sodium per day (around 5.8g of salt).
Low salt diet – For better health
Our palates could get accustomed to the level of salt that we consume each day. It also means that your daily consumption of salt increases by time. However, this ‘accustomed’ salt level could be re-adjust after a few weeks of low-salt diet. A very good way to reduce your daily salt intake is to know how salt reacts with other taste. Sweetness can mask saltiness while bitterness and sourness enhance it. A simple example of squeeze some lemon to your food would make little salt of your food taste stronger.
So, since we know that most modern people consume more salt than they are suppose to, here is some tips on how to reduce sodium in your diet.
- Try to buy and eat fresh vegetables.
- Use fresh fish and meat rather than the processed ones.
- Use herbs and spices as seasoning.
- Cook staple food without salt.
- Try not to consume too much instant food.
- Rinse canned foods to remove the added salt.
- Choose products which are low in sodium.
Besides controlling your salt intake, regular exercises and healthy lifestyle would certainly help you in preventing high blood pressure. It is the overall diet and lifestyle that matter.
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