Why go on a low salt diet ?
When you understand the benefits of a low salt diet, see how it improves your health and lowers blood pressure.
While most people would ordinarily be consuming up to 6000 milligrams of sodium everyday, Doctors recommend taking no more than 2,400 milligrams per day. It is thus important to be aware while cooking and to cook low salt recipes and start eating low salt foods.
When shopping, be aware of foods high in sodium. Keep reminding yourself that sodium and hypertension are linked to each other, or better still is to use healthy mineral rich salts like the himalayan salts.
Lower sodium intake may enhance the effectiveness of medications and natural treatments.
Water can play a very important role regarding blood pressure and overall health, and so be wise in understand the benefits of drinking water benefits of drinking water ! Water along with a low salt diet can work wonders.
When we consume sodium in excess, it enters our blood stream and increases the sodium concentration. The body reacts to this by increasing the level of fluid in the blood to maintain the normal sodium level. Increase in volume in blood vessels lead to a higher pressure.
Where does all this salt come from ?
The excess usually comes from fried, packaged, processed and frozen foods. Read the labels !
What are the best salt substitutes ?
It is herbs and spices.
2400mg of sodium = 1/2 a teaspoon or 1 level teaspoon of salt.
Tip For a Low Salt Diet
The best way to use very little salt, is to sprinkle some on food after cooking.
Why a Low Salt Diet ?
Food actually begins to taste better when we reduce the salt. I remember going on an intensive Yoga Course. We had no salt or spices for two weeks. They were substituted by herbs and oils. In the beginning it was difficult. By the end of the two week period most of the group did not want to return to salted food again.
The salt we consume comes in different forms: Unrefined salt, refined salt and iodized salt.
Refined salt, also known as table salt, is the most common form that we consume. Though salt is essential for our body and for other living things including plants, taking more than what is recommended could be really bad for the body.
This means you will probably need to cut down on your salt intake by more than 50%. This helps to stay clear of harmful effects of salt. Eat less salt and enjoy the added benefit of a low salt diet !!
Benefits of Low Salt Diet
A reduction in salt intake is the first advice a high blood pressure (hypertension) patient would be given. Restricting salt intake also has more positive changes on one’s health. Apart from reducing blood pressure, new research shows that cutting down on salt could prevent many other cardiovascular related diseases. It is also helps to treat edema (fluid retention).
Salt in its modest form is important for all living things particularly humans. It assists the body to balance the amount of water in the body i.e. the water inside and outside the cells. Salt when taken in small quantities would have a lot of other benefits. It would help in stabilizing irregular heartbeats, aid in extraction of excessive acidity from body cells particularly the brain cells, help in communication and information processing of the nerve cells, help in the absorption of food in the intestinal tract, aid in the prevention of muscle cramps and is also important for firming the bone structure.
Refined Salt can be Bad for the Body
Too much salt in your diet will probably cause muscle cramps, electrolyte disturbance or dizziness which will lead to neurological problems. High salt intake has overtime been linked to high rates of stroke and heart related diseases.
More Conditions Linked To High Salt Intake:
Hypertension also referred to as high blood pressure is associated with taking salt above the required quantities. There are numerous studies that have been done proving that hypertension is associated with high salt intake. In a recent study, people with high-normal blood pressure who decreased salt amounts in their diet reduced chances of developing heart related diseases (cardiovascular diseases) by up to 25% over a ten year period.
There is evidence showing that high salt intake can actually cause left ventricular hypertrophy. This is a cardiovascular risk factor independent of blood pressure effects. High salt intake combined with inadequate water intake can actually lead to hypernatremia. Another report shows that a high salt diet reduces bone density in women (Osteoporosis). So for many health reasons, it is best to avoid excess use of salt.
Here is a list of low sodium foods.
To avoid all complications with excess salt, remember to restrict yourself to about 2400 milligrams of salt per day, and enjoy the health benefits of a low salt diet.