Health Effects of Salts

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Hi. It’s been a great week.

Today, I want to share on the health effects of salt. A lot of people take too much salt but are not aware; rarely do people take too little. The health effects of salt are the conditions associated with the consumption of either too much or too little salt. Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl) and is used in food for both preservation and flavor. Sodium ions are needed in small quantities by most living things, as are chloride ions. Salt is involved in regulating the water content (fluid balance) of the body. Our bodies need a little bit of salt to survive, but the amount we eat is far more than we require.

Regularly eating too much salt puts us at increased risk of developing high blood pressure (reduced salt intake also results in a small but statistically significant reduction in blood pressure).  It can also lead to Stroke and cardiovascular disease, Edema, Stomach cancer, Kidney Stones and Kidney Disease, Coronary heart disease and Obesity.

What’s the daily limit of salt?

The Government recommends that we eat no more than 6g of salt a day, which is about a teaspoon. Currently, a lot of people consume far more than that.

Foods that contain salt

Some foods are almost always high in salt because of the way they are made. Other foods, such as bread and breakfast cereals, can contribute a lot of salt to our diet. But that’s not because these foods are always high in salt – it’s because we eat a lot of them.

High-salt foods

The following foods are almost always high in salt.

  • bacon
  • cheese
  • salted and dry-roasted nuts
  • salt fish
  • smoked meat and fish
  • stock cubes

How to reduce salt intake

  • Aim for foods that have a low or medium content.

Try to have high-salt foods only occasionally, or in small amounts. To cut down on salt, eat them less often or have smaller amounts:

  • Stop adding it to your food during cooking and at the dinner table.

If you regularly add salt to food when cooking, try cutting it out or adding less.

Note

There are no fancier types that is better for you. Whether it’s black, rock, crystal or flakes, they still have the same effect on your blood pressure as standard table salt. Although less refined one might contain more nutrients than everyday table type, these will probably only be in very small amounts and can probably be sourced from other foods in your diet.

It’s the sodium that we really need to watch out for; we should also monitor ingredients such as fish and soy sauce and raising agents such as baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.

So, watch out for salt in your daily diet.

SOURCES

NHS

World Action on Salt

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