Are You Having the Right Amount of Salt? 10 Things You Need to Know About Salt Intake

December 10, 2018

Eating too much salt can cause stomach, kidney problems & increase blood pressure. Read this blog to learn what happens to your body if you eat too much salt and how to control it.

Salt -one of the most essential and indispensable ingredients of our meals. Scientifically known as Sodium Chloride, it is essential for the proper functioning of the human body. Sodium present in the salt plays an integral part in the muscle and nerve function.

Now, what is important to track and often ignored is the amount of salt we ingest with our daily meals. Too much or too little and it is bound to have a negative impact on our health. Studies show that an adults daily salt intake should be no more than 1 teaspoon (5gms). This contains around 2300mg of sodium.

The ill effects of high salt intake and how to control it.

1. Excessive salt intake increases the blood pressure thereby increasing the risk of stroke. High blood pressure also increases the risk of heart diseases, heart failure and chronic kidney disease.

Also read about -Keep heart disease at bay with a healthy diet

2. Excess salt intake also leads to edema due to the fluid build-up in the body. The symptoms are swelling in the feet, legs and in some instances the whole body.

3. The lesser one consumes salt, lesser is the risk of hypertension (high blood pressure).

Must read about -Managing Hypertension : Getting back to 120/80

4. Patients with hypertension should consume no more than half teaspoon of salt in a day. The recommendation is not more than 1500mg of sodium in a day.

5. One should avoid using canned and processed foods as much as possible. These contain high amounts of Sodium.

6. Before consumption, one should check for the amount of sodium per serving mentioned on Nutrition Facts label of packaged foods. This will help you in knowing the hidden sodium (other than salt) intake for each day.

7. Hypertensives should try to avoid adding salt while cooking food, instead of salt can be kept at the table. This will help you measure your intake per day.

8. Experts emphasise on consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains while including low-fat dairy products and fish in the diet, limiting red meat, sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages. Following this pattern should help one limit not only the sodium they eat but also the quantity of saturated fat and trans-fat.

What are the effects of low salt intake?

9. Although rare in our country due to high consumption of salt, too little salt intake can have a negative impact on the body as well.

10. Symptoms of having too little salt in the body include fatigue, confusion, headache, nausea, muscle cramps and a loss of appetite.

Monitoring and consuming just the right amount of salt is the key to staying healthy. A small adjustment in salt consumption can show big results when it comes to your health. Talk to a nutritionist for an appropriate diet plan.


Article by Annieraj Merlin, M.Sc (Dietetics)
Consultant Dietitian, CallHealth

Have a question? Consult Annieraj online.

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