Sodium is a good servant but a lousy master
Salt is one of the essential nutrition in any kitchen, and you will agree, even if you are not too good at cooking, salt can improve the taste of almost every dish. In addition to being a great flavor enhancer, it prevents food from spoilage too soon. It is also a necessary source of sodium.
Sodium is needed to regulate the fluid balance in the body, support the nervous system and muscle function. Its insufficient quantity, but also excessive, can have a significant effect on health, especially in older people.
It often happens that people exaggerate with salt. The recommendation of daily intake for people between 19 and 50 years is about 1.5 grams. People in the age category up to 70, should bring about 1.3 grams per day within a food, or half of a small teaspoon, occasionally. People older than 70 must significantly reduce the intake of salt and sodium because their organism, heart, and kidneys, above all, do not have an equally active role as with young people.
The average salt consumption in practice is almost 3 grams per day per adult. This quantity reduces cognitive functions and other physical and mental abilities. On the other hand, low amounts can cause other adverse effects, a condition known as hyponatremia, accompanied by mental confusion, chronic fatigue and even loss of consciousness.
Adverse Effects of Salt Intake
The first consequence of drowning in salty food is directly related to high blood pressure, which is further, the most significant cause of heart attack. An American study looked at a sample of nearly a thousand children who had been eating food with reduced salt intake. In these children, blood pressure was decreased in as much as 47% of cases. So, as a considerable part of an unhealthy diet, it is one of the critical reasons for obesity associated with hypertension and heart disease.
Salt clogs blood vessels and prevents the flow of blood into the brain and heart. It can cause both stroke and heart attack. Salt intake, especially in people who already have pronounced factors of such conditions, must be an obligation.
Kidney stones are crystalline deposits that occur in the urinary tract, mainly by the accumulation of calcium. Excessive salts lead to calcium concentration and stone formation, which is often very painful and requires a long period to eliminate them. Healthy food, with minimal or no salt at all, is the first step to their disappearance or prevention.
An extensive 11-year study involving more than a thousand women and men proves that salty food has an effect on the occurrence of a notorious H. pylori bacteria, which is one of the leading agents of gastric cancer.
How to Reduce Salt?
In the name of health, it is inevitable to give up some pleasures. After these facts, you will agree, it is genuinely one of them. Just think about it, if you buy some healthy food, fish or vegetables, and add a massive amount of salt, do you really consider it to be still healthy? For example, we all love popcorn with a movie, and we are sure they won’t make us gain weight, but – savory and supe-salty popcorns are not a healthy choice.
Try to avoid already prepared and canned dishes. They contain salts so they can sustain longer. Alter the amount of salt intake gradually, or replace it with a healthier alternative – Himalayan or Kosher salt.