The Salt Fetish – What are the Disadvantages
Salt is an integral part of everyone’s diet in today’s time.
- Do you actually know the amount of sodium (the salt) you actually need?
- What high-sodium foods should you avoid?
- Did you know there are also certain ways to prepare and serve foods sans adding sodium?
Now, if you are like many other people who use salt freely in their diet every day, you are getting far more sodium than is recommended. Is that bad?
Yes. Excess (more than recommended) salt in diet can lead to serious health problems.
A Single Teaspoon of Table Salt
It is combination of sodium and chloride consisting of 2,325 milligrams (mg) of sodium. Now it is not just table salt you need to worry about. Most of the processed and prepared foods contain sodium.
Your Body Needs Sodium
Yes, sodium is essential for body in small amounts to function properly. Let’s have a look at what it does:
- Helps maintain the right balance of fluids in your body
- Helps transmit nerve impulses
- Influences the contraction and relaxation of muscles
The kidneys are designed to naturally balance the sodium amount stored in the body for optimal health. Now, when sodium level is low, the kidneys essentially hold on to the sodium. Under situations when the body sodium is high, kidneys will excrete the excess urine.
However, if the kidneys can’t eliminate enough sodium, the sodium starts to accumulate in blood. Sodium attracts and holds water. The volume of blood increases and makes your heart work harder and ultimately increase pressure in arteries. This leads to health conditions as cirrhosis, congestive heart failure, and chronic kidney diseases and make it hard for your kidneys to balance sodium levels.
Human bodies are more sensitive to the sodium effects sodium than are others. If you’re sodium sensitive, you retain sodium more easily, leading to fluid retention and increased blood pressure. If this becomes chronic, it can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and congestive heart failure.
How much Sodium is required?
As per the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, less than 2,300 mg a day (1,500 mg) is recommended for 51 years individuals or older. According to the World Health Organization, the daily consumption of salt should not exceed 5 grams or one teaspoon. So, make sure you do not exceed the recommended quantity. This will reduce your chances of developing hypertension or other health complications.