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How Dangerous Is Salt For Your Health?
The difference between salt and sodium
Salt and sodium are not the same thing. Salt is made up of two chemical compounds, namely sodium and chloride. Sodium chloride is the term used for table salt, and is made up of 40% sodium and 60% chloride.
It is important to note that in addition to sodium chloride (salt), sodium also shows up in unhealthy amounts in products such as, among many others, foods containing monosodium glutamate (MSG) bicarbonate baking soda, and preservatives containing sodium nitrate.
The basic facts to keep in mind is that by consuming too much salt and processed foods is the way we get excess sodium into our diet.
Tips to keep your salt and sodium intake under control
Some foods are almost always high in salt because of the way they are made. Most natural foods also contain organic sodium, but in much lower amounts than in processed and restaurant foods.
Here are ways you can reduce your sodium intake.
- Add spicy foods to your diet. According to research, spicy foods make the body more sensitive to salt, so the spicier food you eat, the less your craving for salt may become.
- The American Heart Association recommend that when shopping for packaged or processed foods, always read the labels. Opt to purchase those products which have the lowest amount of sodium, or products which have low-salt options.
- Whenever possible, prepare your own, and your family’s meals yourself. That way you can control how much salt goes into your food.
- Cut down, or eat less of these foods which have had salt added as a preservative measure. They include:
- Anchovies, bacon, ham.
- Gravy granules, pickles and salami.
- Salted nuts, smoked meat and fish.
- Soy sauce, stock cubes, yeast extract.
- Different brands of various products also use different amounts of sodium in their products. These include potato crisps, pizza, ready meals, sausages, salad creams, mayonnaise, and breakfast cereals. Read the labels and opt for those with the lowest amount of added sodium.
With a little innovation and pickiness when it comes to buying food products, as well as less use of the table salt-shaker, you can successfully manage your salt intake.
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