You must have heard it from many health consultants. True to some extent but you should have your facts clear!
Sodium chloride or commonly called Table salt provides the electrolyte sodium to your diet. This mineral plays a crucial role in-
- Maintaining fluid balance within cells
- Functioning of muscle
- Transmit ion of nerve impulse
- Helps to absorb nutrients
- Give flavour and taste to our food
The daily allowance is upto 1500 mg/per day which we easily get in 3 gms table salt. But in modern diets we get a lot of hidden sodium through preservatives, baking powder, and baking soda. This excessive sodium is the root cause of all the ailments!!
Foods rich in sodium which we need to avoid
- Preserved foods
- Bakery products specially breads, biscuits and rusk
- Packed junk food like chips ,namkeen, papad
- All types of readymade sauces and dressings
- Frozen foods
Too much of any good thing can be very harmful. This overdose of sodium is causing a lot of health issues especially in kids. Diseases like blood pressure, heart diseases, obesity, and liver disorder are a few. The list is endless though!
The effect of a high sodium diet on our body
- High blood pressure. A high sodium level in blood elevates blood pressure where as potassium acts the reverse by lowering blood pressure. These two minerals regulate our blood pressure and should be taken in a balance.
- Heart diseases. A high BP will ultimately affect the heart. It could even lead to a heart attack or stroke.
- Damaged kidneys. If you have a high BP for a long period of time it gradually damages the kidneys.
- Brain stroke. Uncontrolled BP will sooner or later affect the brain and a very high spike of BP can even lead to a brain stroke.
- Water retention. To maintain the balance of sodium and potassium in the cells extra water is retained in the cellular spaces causing water retention and ultimately weight gain.
HOW TO LIMIT SODIUM INTAKE
- Go salt free/or on very low salt once a week.
- Avoid market food completely
- Avoid adding baking soda or Eno in your food for easy cooking
- Don’t add extra salt on the table
- Try and keep salt intake low at dinner time specially after 8 pm
- Increase intake of fluids and potassium
Lastly another point of concern with the endocrinologist is the added iodine in our iodized salt. High intake of iodine can cause some of the same symptoms as iodine deficiency can, like raised level of TSH. The solution is to mix natural rock salt and iodised salt to balance out the iodine intake.
So before you sprinkle that extra salt on your food think twice……