Some people like their food sweet while others like the taste of salt. It is recommended to include salt in your diet as it's essential for metabolism. However, too much of salt can be harmful for your health as it can raise your blood pressure which increases the risk of several health problems such as stroke and heart disease.
It is fine to add salt to your food as it adds taste to the plate, however, we often fail to realize that we don't have to do anything extra to fulfill the salt requirement. There is plenty of salt already present in everyday foods that we eat such as breakfast cereal, bread, and processed foods. Adding salt to everything you eat will eventually raise your blood pressure, which is a common problem in adults in several parts of the world.
High blood pressure usually doesn’t cause any significant symptoms, however, it is very likely to increase the risk for heart disease or stroke. Cutting down on your daily salt intake will lower the blood pressure, which also reduces the risk of developing heart disease posed by high blood pressure.
It’s very common to hear someone suggest to cut down on the salt intake for better health. But how much salt should you actually take to support the need of your body while keeping high blood pressure at bay?
The recommended maximum amount of salt depends on the age of the person. Babies need less than 1g of salt a day and the amount will increase with age. Once the child is 4 years old the maximum salt intake may go up to 3g a day. For children above 7, the limit can be 5g and for everyone above 11 years of age the maximum recommended limit is around 6 g.
To cut down on the sodium intake read the nutrition labels on every packaged food you eat. If any food item contains more than 1.5g of salt per 100 gm, then it is considered to be on the higher side and you would want to avoid such food items if you are trying to cut down your salt intake.
You should avoid foods that are always on the high side of salt content. Reduce the intake of foods such as cheese, olives, pickles, salted or roasted nuts, salt fish, smoked meat and fish and yeast extract. Also, be careful while eating processed food as they may contain too much salt.
Read labels and check the salt content first before you eat foods items such as pizza, canned meals, soups, tomato ketchup, breakfast cereals and sandwiches. Also remember that each soluble vitamin supplement or painkiller tablet may contain 1g of salt.
Image source: Shutterstock