When we are talking about salt, among its compounds sodium (40%) and chloride (60%), we are talking about sodium.. which is an essential mineral. It is important for many functions like controlling the fluid balance in your body , transmitting electric nerve impulses, contracting muscles(including Heart), absorbing nutrients across cell membranes, maintaining body’s acid/base balance etc. You must be thinking that if this mineral has such interesting and important profile than why is it pictured as culprit that causes high blood pressure and eventually cardiac problems??
The reason is its right proportion in the body- our body requires just 1/10 of tsp of sodium to work properly, while generally we consumes 18-20 times of it. That causes the imbalance of the mineral in the body that creates trouble. High salt in the body causes water retention, high blood pressure, kidney failure and cardiac problems.
RDA for Salt:
As per National Institute of Nutrition India, the recommended dietary allowance of salt for an average Indian is no more than 2300 mg/day.
How to cut salt from diet?
- Avoid pickles and papads in the meals. As all pickles required salt to prevent it to ferment and papads contains a lot salt and soda bi carb, which is also high in sodium.
- Avoid keeping salt bottle on the table as we tend to have it more when we have an easy access to it.
- Restrict the intake of cheese, although it protein content is high, but its high on sodium too.
- Wisely choose condiments as they might contain high sodium, e.g. mustard sauce, MSG, salad dressings, pasta sauces, flavouring cubes, soy sauce etc.
- Read labels and choose carefully while shopping for ready ot eat soups, or soup powders, noodles, package mixes, biscuits, as it might contain high content of sodium.
- Eat plain roasted nuts instead of salted or fried nuts.
- Enhance the flavour of the foods with spices and herbs.