Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Salt : Too little or Too Much

French fries one of the favorite snacks all around the world thanks to the fast food companies that have made them so popular. This same fries are what shocked me recently. The amount of extra salt that some people add to this fries was what bothered me. Salt to me is to be taken just a sprinkle here and there. Unluckily we humans have now been indulging in lot of salt these days. Here is a quick example of our salt in our meal table:

A cup of all bran cereal : 620 milligrams of salt
Bagels: 400-500milligrams of salt
Toast : 140-200 milligrams of salt
Cheese [one inch cube]: 400 milligrams
Butter 2 tsp: 25 milligrams

Just for breakfast a normal person without adding any added salt can eat around 1 to 2gms of salt easily. While recently in WHO clearly stated in its website that the average salt intake has to be less that 5 gms of salt per day for every human being. Yes one is right to say that some of us are eating excessive salt in diet. Here is little trouble that one might look at due to eating excessive salt.

According to Ayurveda excessive salt do result in certain health issues in every person. The chief result that one can see is impotency or issues relating to fertility. Baldness, fatigue and different types of skin diseases can also be seen with those who eat more salt.

Different scientific studies do have found co-relation with excess salt intake with different health hazards too.

  • Hypertension and Salt: Studies in different parts of the world have shown the same result with the links of excess salt intake and increasing cause of high blood pressure in individuals. Studies also confirm that as one reduces salt intake, sees notable changes in blood pressure. A recent study shows that an extra tea spoon of salt also heightens the risk of stroke by 23 percent.
  • Salt and Osteoporosis: BBC in one of the articles covered this topic showing studies by team of scientist who related excess salt intake and increasing chances of Osteoporosis.
  • Many other diseases are linked and have seen being connected with increasing salt intake diet such as gout, gastric ulcers and cancer, duodenal cancer and ulcer.
If here are some the issues caused by excess salt, I had few chances to see different patients who have trouble because reduce salt too. Muscle cramps one of the best example to show is result of decrease sodium in our muscles some time.

What I do not understand is why humans tend to always to do extremes. Either no salt or added salt ... why not just moderate. Gina my friend in her article Fats: Pros and Cons properly quote “that one need to eat as natural as possible to eliminate the doubt of excess fats”. Which remain so true in the case of salt intake too? The more process, preserved one eats the more salt they eat. Eat fresh and less would be your salt intake.

Posted By Sudeep

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