Are you consuming too much salt or not enough?
Have you asked someone to pass the salt lately? Are you like most Americans, who consume twice the recommended sodium intake each day? In large part of this excess sodium comes from our dependence on easily prepared processed foods that easily get mu and above the recommended daily intake. So, have you thought about your sodium intake lately?
Let's talk about salt
Why do we really need salt, and how can you make sure that your total sodium intake is enough to keep your body at risk?
The salt is sodium chloride, and regardless of whether you take out a refined table salt or a rocky sea salt, both are derived from the sea. Table salt is extracted from the salt deposits that remain when the bodies of seawater have dried and the sea salt is collected directly from the sea, and both are processed to remove impurities.
People of culinary ideas will notice the differences in taste between the two and some sea salts contain additional minerals (such as Himalayan salt).
What is the problem with adding iodine to salt?
Since 1924 this mineral has been supplemented with iodine, an essential micronutrient (especially important for thyroid function) that the body cannot produce on its own. This compound has become one of our main sources of iodine, since although it is found in the soil used to grow our vegetables, the soil is not generally rich in this micronutrient and is not always absorbed by plants as they grow. .
Therefore, most salt is supplemented with iodine to ensure that we are getting enough in our diet.
Our bodies need salt in small quantities
Our bodies need to have a small amount of sodium to function properly; Sodium helps maintain balance in body fluids, works to transmit nerve impulses, helps people with low blood pressure, and influences muscle contraction and relaxation.
Salt is also removed from the body in sweat so those who live a very active life, or participate in high intensity workouts will need more salt than those who do not.
When is too much of a good thing?
The kidneys work to maintain the proper amount of sodium in your body and excess sodium accumulates in the blood. Sodium attracts and retains water, this increases the volume of blood and heart muscles must work harder.
High sodium intake is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and an increased risk of cancer and stroke. Too much sodium in the body can also make asthma symptoms worse and have consequences on calcium and bone metabolism.
This is how you should get enough sodium
In general, those who follow a diet rich in whole foods prepared at home are within the healthy limits of sodium intake. Where we get off the track is when we rely on processed foods .
These convenience foods can provide us with fast food, but they often rely heavily on salt intake for preservation and taste. You may not even be aware of the amount of salt that is in your favorite packaged food.
The good news is that controlling sodium intake is quite simple if you make small changes in the way you eat.
1- Minimize the consumption of processed foods. Make meals and snacks from scratch. Meal planning and setting aside time to prepare food in advance will help reduce salt intake.
2- Pay attention to food labels . Avoid foods high in sodium and try foods that don't even have salt. It will always surprise you!
3- Replace table salt with other condiments. Try cumin, chili powder, or oregano to add flavor to soups and sauces.
4- Make your own meat broth from the leftover bones. In this way, you can control sodium and add other flavors as an alternative. The store-bought broth is high in sodium, so even a homemade soup made from these will have too much salt.
5- Reduce table salt intake slowly. Soon your taste buds will adjust and the foods you used to enjoy when they were not too salty.
6- Avoid fast foods like french fries. In addition to providing empty calories, these foods are high in salt. If they allow, consume organic versions of low sodium content and limit your consumption to the indicated portion.
7- Choose fresh vegetables when you can. Check the frozen food labels to make sure they are freshly packaged without added seasoning.
8- Choose fresh meats. You can also make your own spices using salt alternatives. It is also advisable to avoid sauces such as tomato sauce and barbecue sauce, which can be high in sodium and sugar.
9- Take a cooking class or invest in cookbooks. Knowing how to combine with fresh flavors at home will help you avoid adding packaged sauces to your meals.
Making incremental changes to your diet is a good strategy to slowly reduce your sodium intake. It may also reduce the risk of disease . A life-threatening change is worth its weight in salt.
AUTHOR: JoT333, editor of the great family of hermandadblanca.org