High salt intake can cause serious health problems. Which of these foods do you consume daily?
The consumption of salt in society is almost as worrying as the consumption of sugar. Sodium in food causes serious health problems, such as cardiovascular disorders and hypertension, among others. And even if you reduce the use of salt at the table, surely you still have a high consumption of it through the foods you eat every day.
According to the World Health Organization, consuming an average of 5 grams of salt a day contributes to high blood pressure and increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. The data that sounds the alarm is that most people consume too much salt, this is 9 to 12 grams per day on average, that is, twice the maximum recommended intake.
As of 2016, the WHO Member States agreed to reduce the world’s population’s salt consumption by 30% by 2025. That is why information about the health impact caused by salt consumption is essential to prevent and maintain balanced health. It is estimated that some 2.5 million deaths could be prevented each year if global salt intake were reduced to the level recommended by the WHO. The problem is that nobody is really aware of what it means.
Eating little salt can be done; it’s just a matter of habit. In Argentina, for example, in 2016, a law came into force that prohibits putting salt shakers on restaurant tables, in order to avoid the temptation to salt extra meals. But beyond removing the salt shaker from the table, experts warn that it is very important to eat a more natural diet, since processed products contain too much sodium.
How much is “too much”?
In its fair measure, salt is beneficial for health, since it is an essential mineral for the body. The recommended daily consumption of salt is: * Adults: 2 grams of sodium (equivalent to 5 grams of salt or a teaspoon of coffee). * Children: between 7 and 10 years old: they should not exceed 4 grams a day, and those under 7, 3 grams.
If we think about the amount of salt we consume daily, it far exceeds the recommended dose. According to Better with Health, excessive consumption of salt causes the following problems in the body:
Foods with more salt
According to the Health site, these are the foods that contain more salt, and that we consume almost daily, increasing without realizing the maximum recommended dose of sodium.
Sauces and dressings
A two-tablespoon serving of salad dressing or barbecue sauce can contain 300 mg of sodium (which is 10-15% of the daily dose)
It’s high in protein and is a favorite for breakfast and some meals, but a cup of this spreadable cheese can have up to 1 gram of sodium – that’s about half of what you need in a day.
Although they seem healthy, and even if the sugar-free option is chosen, breakfast cereals can have 180 to 300 mg of sodium per serving. A 275 gram package of cereal usually has about 4 grams of salt, so unless you are eating the whole package, you can eat a few tablespoons of cereal a day.
Do you know how food is preserved in the can for a long time? Yes, you guessed it, with salt. Salt was used in time immemorial to preserve food, and canned foods are no exception.
Nothing healthier than a soup right? Unless the soup is your grandmother’s, store-bought soups or bouillon cubes to make soup contain a significant amount of sodium, with a single bowl of soup having half the sodium required in a day.
Low sodium foods
When you buy a food reduced in sodium, it does not mean that it has no or little sodium, but that it is reduced compared to its original version of the product. In other words, if a package of cookies had 1 gram of sodium in total, the “reduced” version will have only 25% less, and that number is still high.
A good habit for health
Reducing salt intake can benefit us in many ways. If you have children, try also to educate their palate so that they do not get too used to salty flavors. Also, if you want to gradually reduce the consumption of salt in your family, you can choose to include new flavors and condiments that enhance the taste of the preparations without having to add more salt; for example, using aromatic herbs such as rosemary, thyme, bay leaf and oregano, among others.
In the meantime, do not take the salt shaker to the table and start to salt your meals less little by little, for the sake of your health and that of your whole family. And do you have a hard time reducing your salt intake?