How much is your daily salt intake? A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicates that we are getting most of our salt content from common foods even before we add that little extra from the saltshaker. Yes, you heard it right! In fact, over 44% of our daily food intake is made up of these foods. With the amount of salt in food increasing, you are increasing your chances of heart disease and hypertension.
Do you know that there are many interesting facts about salt intake? Yes, there are, including its role in preserving food, regulating blood pressure, and aiding in hydration, its role in the body, and its history as a valuable commodity.
Here Is the List of the Saltiest Foods:
- Bread and rolls
- Lunchmeats (cold cuts)
- Processed chicken
- Meat dishes
- Snack Foods
You need to keep in mind that the amount of sodium can dramatically vary from product to product. Some companies use salt as a preserving agent, some use it to promote flavor, while some others use it to cultivate your appetite. Before you put it into your mouth, take a look at the nutritional information on the back of the container to find out how much sodium you’re ingesting while keeping the recommended salt intake in mind.
High Salt Intake Can Affect Your Heart
Salt intake has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, as high levels of sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes. This is why, to maintain heart health, it is important to monitor your salt intake and choose lower sodium options in your diet.
Salt Helps in Muscle Function
Our bodies are comprised of around 1% salt, and we need 500 mg per day to survive. The salt that we ingest helps with muscle function as well as transmitting signals from our brain through the nerves. The extra salt, ingested through foods and the iodized salt that we put on the table, is excreted through our pores and processed through our kidneys. When the level of salt intake is too high, our bodies store it in our veins, creating an excess of plaque and other hypertensive concerns.
Here is the recommended daily salt intake:
- 1,500 mg for people aged 9 to 50
- 1,300 mg for adults aged 51 to 70
- 1,200 mg for people over 70
Did you know that the average salt intake for children above the age of 2 is 3,436 mg? This is twice the recommended daily amount and over 1,100 mg over the recommended upper limit of 2,300 mg per day. According to Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, “Heart disease and stroke alone kill more than 800,000 Americans each year and contribute an estimated 273 billion dollars a year in health care costs. It is believed that reducing the sodium content of the ten leading sodium sources by just 25% would lower total dietary salt intake per day by more than 10% and prevent an estimated 28,000 deaths per year.”
Natural Salts Are Better More Flavorful
As salts are important for our body, we require a certain amount of salt to survive and maintain balance. In order to do this, we must know where to get salt that is not harmful like the table salt, we consume.
You should consider looking for natural salts like Himalayan Sea salts, pink salt, or black salt. The table salt that we ingest is processed, bleached, and sterilized to flow better and look better. It is heated to over 1200 degrees and refined to the point where it is merely sodium and chloride. The natural salts which have not been processed, on the other hand, contain trace elements that promote good health and well-being.
Remember that sea salt is more flavorful than regular table salt. The impurities within the sea salt give it varying flavors depending on its origin. While sea salts are generally more expensive in the grocery store, they can also add subtleties to your eating experience.
When considering your family’s food choices, put down the saltshaker and consider spicing your foods with other flavors. Chances are that the food that you’re eating has enough sodium in it to receive the recommended daily salt intake. So, try putting aside the saltshaker for a day and experimenting. Your body will thank you for it.
Salt Plays a Big Role in Electrolyte Balance
One healthy fact about salt is that it is an essential nutrient that plays a role in many aspects of health, including electrolyte balance, hydration, and muscle function. However, it is important to consume salt in moderation. Because, as we already mentioned, high salt intake can have negative effects on blood pressure and overall wellness. Remember that choosing lower sodium options and monitoring your salt intake per day can support your overall health and wellness.
Low Salt Consumption Can Lead to Muscle Cramps
We all know that salt is an important nutrient that is necessary for proper body function, right? But, do you know that a deficiency in salt can lead to symptoms such as muscle cramps and fatigue.
All in all, it won’t be wrong to say that maintaining a balanced daily salt intake is important for optimal nutrition. We are saying this because both excess and deficiency of salt are bad for health.
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