Did you know that not only sugar but consuming too much salt is bad for your health? So, what is the right amount of salt you should take? And how would you know about that?
Don’t worry, read this article to know about dietary salt intake in detail.
Salt (NaCl) is made up of two elements- 40% sodium and 60% chloride. Salt is something that we add to our food for taste (and it also helps to preserve food and stop the growth of bacteria). It is beneficial to your health, but excess consumption can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stomach cancer. Consuming lesser amounts is also bad for health because it can cause dizziness, headache, fatigue, and nausea.
Is salt bad for you?
Well, typically it depends on your consumption. If you consume too much salt, chances are you might develop serious health-related problems. So, the answer is yes, salt is bad for you.
But if you follow dietary guidelines and consume salt in the right quantity in your diet it can help maintain your health.
The recommended dose of salt intake
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), adults should consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium in a day (which makes one teaspoon of table salt). However, in the US, most Americans consume 3,400 milligrams (about the weight of a penny) of sodium in their diet in a day.
Sources of high salt in your diet
Here are the sources of food that have a high amount of salt in them:
- Snack mixes
- Smoked, cured, salted, or canned meat like fish, poultry, bacon (like cold cuts, ham, frankfurters, sausage, sardines, caviar, and anchovies)
- Frozen meats and dinners, such as burritos and pizza
- Canned entrees, such as ravioli, spam, and chili
- Salted nuts
- Beans canned with added salt
- Salt seasonings
Side effects of high salt foods
- Bloating: Eating too much salt increases the amount of sodium in your body making it hard for the kidneys to filter the blood. Sodium has the ability to bind with water, which causes water retention and bloating.
- Cardiovascular problems: More salt increases the amount of sodium in your body (it holds fluids in your body that puts pressure on blood vessels and heart, and increases your blood pressure, leading to heart diseases or stroke). To avoid that, you can increase your potassium intake because potassium helps to excrete sodium from your body.
- Increased thirst: High sodium in your body increases your thirst and this leads to water retention and weight gain in the abdomen and under the eyes.
- Increased risk of Osteoporosis: Increased consumption of salt can make your body lose calcium through urination. And, when your body is running low on calcium it can cause bone problems like osteoporosis.
- High chances of developing stomach cancer: According to many studies, high salt consumption can lead to stomach cancer. Because it can increase the growth of Helicobacter pylori (a type of bacteria that is associated with stomach cancer).
- Sleeping problems: Extreme amounts of salt increase the amount of sodium in the blood which can increase blood pressure and create an urge to drink more water and leads to frequent trips to the washroom, which can make it difficult for you to sleep.
Tips to consume the right amount of salt
- Make your own food at home: This is the best way to control the amount of salt in your food. By cooking food from scratch, you can cut the extra salt you get from eating out and you can save some money too.
- Increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables: Avoid eating processed and junk food, instead consume fresh and healthy fruits and vegetables.
- Read labels: When you have to buy packaged food, always read labels and pick ‘no salt,’ ‘less salt’ or ‘low sodium’ products.
- Add herbs and spices for better taste: Instead of adding more salt for better taste try to add herbs and spices for better taste. This can help to avoid excess consumption of salt and provide nutrients for the body.
- Keep in mind the other sources of Sodium: Sodium is not only present in salt but available in other food items like meat, eggs, dairy food products, bread, shellfish, etc. so make sure you regulate their consumption.
Salt is important for the body because it plays a significant role in the proper functioning of your body. But too much salt is also bad for your health. So, try to maintain the right amount of salt intake, so that you have a healthy diet and a fit body.
Want a diet plan? Call us on 718-DORAL-55 to get a free consultation. Doral Health & Wellness aims to provide the most effective and safest weight loss solutions to all our patients. Doral’s Weight Loss Surgery Center is committed to freeing you from the burden of obesity to live a long, happy, and healthy life.