by Marshaneil Soumi D' Rozario | 21 Mar 2018
Salt is an absolute necessity for any dish. An absence of salt in a dish can make it simply unpalatable. Too much of salt in a plate can lead to a host of problem. There is a common misconception that , consuming too much salt is a cause for concern in our later years but during childhood it increases blood pressure which then tracks into adulthood and later life, increasing the risk of strokes and heart attacks. That is why it is important to reduce salt intake across all ages. Nmami Agarwal, Nutritionist of Manushi Chillar (Miss World 2017) and the founder of the award-winning diet and nutrition brand, Nmami Life Founder, NmamiLife shares her inputs :
How does excess salt consumption affect our health?
Salt is an important ingredient of our daily food but the excess amount can have an adverse effect on our health. As the amount of sodium increases, body starts holding on to water to dilute it. This leads to the increase of both the amount of fluid surrounding cells and the volumes of blood in the bloodstream. Thus the pressure on blood vessel increases along with more work for the heart for increased blood volumes. With time, the blood vessels get stiffened due to extra work and pressure leading to high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
What are the major health risks?
Increased levels of dietary sodium intake are associated with raised blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. It influences blood pressure, increases risks of heart strokes and renal disease. Some studies also suggest it to be associated with obesity, renal stones and stomach cancer.
How do you know, you are eating too much of salt?
There are very simple ways to know that the salt consumption is high in your daily diet. The thirst level increases as sodium messes with the balance of fluid in the body. If your mouth gets dried constantly and your thirst is unquenchable, you might need to check the amount of salt intake. The other sign is mild headaches caused by dehydration due to excess salt in the diet. Swelling of different parts- face, hands, legs, ankles and feet caused due to extra fluids build up in tissues is commonly known as edema.
What is the source of hidden salt in diet?
Some commonly known products with hidden salt are-
cheese and dressings.
How does hidden salt affect our health?
It is quite difficult to satisfy your hunger without sprinkling some salt over food. We do not realize that some products which might not taste salty already have too much salt that might be sufficient for daily intake. By adding more salt in our diet, we risk our heart to strokes and blood pressure. We should be aware of the products consisting hidden salt and should decrease their consumption. Some common products we use daily with hidden salt are processed food, bread, sauce and soda.
What are the negatives of an absolute salt free diet?
A high amount of salt is injurious to health but salt definitely has benefits. Practically it is difficult to remove salt from the diet completely as we cannot satisfy our hunger with salt free diet. Also, sodium is essential to retain water in the body, to stimulate muscle contraction, helps in digestion. The deficiency of salt can risk low blood pressure.
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