Salt has been used since ancient times, first as a bargaining chip and as preservative to prevent the reproduction of bacteria in food.
Sodium is a mineral that forms salt and it is important for the transmission of nerve impulses and the balance of body fluids. However, modern life and its processed and fast food have increased the consumption of salt to alarming levels. Imagine that one of those sandwiches can have 80% of the recommended daily sodium. Then, add everything you eat in a day and know how it can lead to serious illness in the short term.
The excess of sodium intake can cause stomach cancer, cardiovascular diseases, stroke and kidney disease (fluid retention), hypertension (high blood pressure) and still can aggravate asthma. The recommended daily intake of salt is 6 g (equivalent to 2.4 g of sodium), but some researches show that people consume twice.
Fortunatelly some countries have been making efforts to reduce sodium in processed food and it shows some awareness to the dangers of the misuse of salt.
Did you know that most foods contain sodium? Even before prepared, including fruits and vegetables. Therefore it is important to account everything you eat daily.
The food industry adds numerous preservatives in their products and sodium is one of the most used. It is a “hidden enemy”, because it is present in table salt, in most processed foods and even mineral water. For those who think they are following a proper “diet” when taking diet soda and processed fruit juices, know that sodium levels in these drinks are very high. Even cookies and biscuits, and those “natural and wholesome ones” (many are not what label promises and just say this to sell more), also contain excess of sodium and other preservatives.
Therefore, to prevent abuse and protect themselves it is necessary that people begin to read and understand the product labels and cease to act unconsciously, as an “automatic” button at the time of purchase. It is necessary that the labels show clearly the levels of preservatives in products and that you choose the less harmful ones. Do not think only in taste and in calories, carbohydrates and fats, but note especially the amount of sodium.
If you think about being healthy it is time to wake up and eliminate many of the manufactured goods of your life and consume only what is inevitable, since the busy life of today makes it difficult to cook everything at home. Include more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet.
The salty taste increases the Pitta and Kapha doshas and decreases Vata.
- AVOID OR CUT THE MAIN VILLAINS TO YOUR HEALTH:
-soft drinks, soda and processed fruit juices (including diet)
-tomato ketchup, mustard and ready sauces
-preserves and frozen meals
-processed and smoked food (ham, turkey, salami, sausage, etc)
-sweetener with sodium cyclamate
-children and elderly should consume less salt
-light salt is not recommended for people with kidney problems
-monosodium glutamate has high levels of sodium
-soy sauce and miso
- TIPS ON HOW TO REDUCE THE USE OF SALT
-remove the salt shaker from the table – food has been prepared with salt
-use sea or pink salt (but, use just a few)
-develop your palate and use more fresh and dried herbs and spices as they enhance the flavor of your preparations
-use Herb Salt – it is an excellent alternative to substitute and reduce the salt in your food. See my recipe HERE.