We have all heard the warning that eating too much salt is bad for us, yet many choose to continue eating high levels of salt without knowing the true side effects.
With salt found in pretty much all foods that we consume, going without eating salt can feel like a challenge. To educate us during National Salt Awareness Week and to transform our opinions by alerting us on the true effects of salt, we want to educate our readers about the secrets of salt and the effects it causes on our bodies.
Did you know that on average we consume around 9g of salt every day and consuming large amounts of salt can lead to high blood pressure and can increase your chances of a heart attack or stroke?
For those people that view salt as a superb way to season and improve the flavour of their food, it is recommended that the highest amount of salt that you should consume daily is 6g. If you are unsure of what 6g of salt looks like, this is the equivalent of a teaspoon.
But how much salt is in your food that you cannot see? If you are wanting to cut down the amount of salt that you consume, discovering how much is lurking in your food is harder to detect.
With a lot of readymade meals and processed food containing high levels of salt, our favourite foods such as bread, baked beans and soups are riddled with a large quantity that many would have been unaware existed.
To really be confident in the amount of salt that you are eating on a daily basis, by cooking and creating your own meals from the scratch, you can be fully aware of the ingredients that have been added to your dish. But for those wanting to dramatically reduce their salt intake but are far too busy to make all their food from scratch, we advise you to think twice when it comes to seasoning your meals.
Many of us all want to take extra care when it comes to our health and well-being, but many feel that to do so, completely excluding salt from their diet is the path to take. This is far from the case, as in comparison with eating too much salt, eating too little can equally have a negative impact on our health.
Sodium accounts for 40% of salt and is essential when it comes to the bodies transmission of nerve impulses around the body and helps our body to contract our muscles. Instead of blocking salt from your diet, the key is to reduce the amount you consume, keeping your body running and functioning to its optimum standard.
So what effects can salt have on your body? Here we will take a look at the most common dangers of consuming too much:
High Blood Pressure
The most common effect of a diet high in salt can lead to a high blood pressure as the salt causes the body to hold more water and forces the body to work harder to pump the blood around the body. By reducing your salt intake and eating a diet of vegetables, fruit and low-fat dairy products, you can dramatically reduce your chances of high blood pressure, getting you back onto the road to a healthy you in no time.
For those worried about the effects of eating salt, salt can have a surprising effect on the overall strength of our bones. Salt can in fact increase the rate that our body loses vital calcium; when our body loses vast amounts of calcium that exits our body through our urine, our body is then forced to take calcium from levels that have been stored in our bones, all in an effort to keep the calcium levels in our blood stable.
Reports have found in recent years a link between salt and asthma. It is thought that high salt levels can worsen asthma and that the sensitivity of our lungs can be linked to the overall sodium balances in our body. If you suffer from asthma, by reducing your overall salt intake, you can see a decrease in the amount that you suffer.
High levels of salt in your diet can increase overall body water weight, but by cutting salt intake by a half, you can quickly reduce your excess fluid weight that has built up over time.
In recent research and evidence found from across Europe, discoveries have confirmed a link between stomach cancer and a diet high in salt. A diet with a high salt count can over the years strip the protective lining of the stomach and by stripping this natural defence, it can cause an infection on the Helicobacter pylori, a part of the stomach linked to creating stomach ulcers and stomach cancer’s.
The dangers of a high salt diet cannot be ignored and if you are wanting to improve your overall health and reduce your fluid retention, then we advise you to consider cutting down on the amount of salt that you add to your diet. Reducing your intake after years of eating salt can be hard, but after intense training, you can trick your taste buds to never crave salt again.
If you are struggling and find yourself craving, by adding either garlic or spices to your dish as a salt substitute, you can trick and fool your taste buds. Yet the best way to reduce your salt intake is by cooking and preparing all your meals from scratch and cutting down on the amount of ready meals that you eat. By reducing the amount of readymade soups, processed meats such as bacon and sausages and canned foods like beans, you can dramatically watch your salt intake decline.
If you are considering reducing the amount of salt you consume and are wanting to take better care of your health, at Dexam we have a range of delicious and healthy recipes to get you excited for dinner without endangering your health.