Unlike sugar, that is totally useless, salt even has some health benefits. On the other side, there are negative salt health effects, too. So, we all need a compromise, and some tips to eat less salt.
Safe amount for adults is 6 g, or about one teaspoon of salt daily. Children should eat even less.
Salt health effects
- Salt is essential for sustaining the hydration levels of the body.
- Using iodized salt is the best way to fight iodine deficiency.
- Salt helps balancing insulin levels in the body.
- At the same time, people who have diabetes are at a higher risk of experiencing negative effects of salt overeating.
- Also, people over age 50 and those with high blood pressure may develop health problems related to salt consumption easier.
- Among negative salt health effects are high blood pressure, kidney problems, heart and blood vessels diseases, and osteoporosis. Anyway, you are not likely to have them if you do not eat too much salt.
Foods high in salt:
- salted and dry-roasted nuts;
- some crisps;
- gravy granules;
- stock cubes;
- yeast extract;
- soy sauce;
- smoked meat and fish;
- salt fish;
- most cheeses;
- some breads;
- most ready meals, including pizza;
- and most ready sauces.
A brief guide to quitting salt overeating
These tips may help you reduce salt intake:
- Try gradually adding less salt while cooking.
- Or, more advanced, try to add salt at the dinner table instead of doing it while cooking.
- Spice up your foods. Using spices and herbs, you will reduce the need for added salt.
- Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. They are not only low in sodium, but are also high in potassium, that helps lower blood pressure.
- Read labels. Always try to choose lower-sodium foods.