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Problems of excessive salt intake

Health experts and the World Health Organization (WHO), sodium in excess is not suitable for health. Do you know what the side effects of consuming a lot of salt in the diet can be? If you have some ideas and several doubts, don’t worry because we’ll tell you more about it below.

In the meantime, keep one thing in mind: all extremes are harmful. Therefore, it is unnecessary to pretend to live without consuming salt, but neither by abusing it. Ideally, follow the recommendations that your doctor always gives you, as these will take into account your body’s specific needs.
Salt: where does it come from, and how much should you consume?
Salt with sodium and cardiovascular health.
Sodium is a harmful component of arterial health. Increase the pressure values.

As indicated by the data provided by the Center for Science in the Public Interest:

10% of the sodium we consume comes from food and water.
Another 10% is added when cooking and eating, but this value can vary according to habits. A teaspoon of refined table salt contains the total sodium that we should ingest daily.
The remaining 80% comes from processed foods, breaded foods, etc., most of which are consumed outside the home and in fast food places. Sodium chloride is used in large quantities in sausages, for example.

The amount of salt allowed per person depends on their physical conditions. It also varies depending on the time of year or the type of food eaten. For example, during the summer or spring, you eat less salt than in winter. The sodium ingested per day should range between 500 and 2400 milligrams.

There are foods that we find in stores that exaggeratedly exceed this value. To name a few: some French fries with dressing have about 4,900 milligrams of sodium.

Read: 5 consequences of excess ultra-processed

What to do to avoid overeating salt?

To avoid the problems caused by excessive salt consumption, it is advisable to leave out processed products, especially cheeses, pastries and cold meats, and fast food. In turn, use salt substitutes, such as untreated sea salt and increasingly pour less in meals. At first, you can tell the difference, but then the palate gets used to it.

Lastly, the good idea is to try condiments or ingredients that enhance the taste of the food. Spices such as pepper, sage, marjoram, basil, parsley, nutmeg, rosemary, tarragon and cumin should not be missing in your kitchen.
Reduce salt in meals

How can we gradually reduce the amount of salt in our meals? The doctor points out that there are options to reduce the amount of salt we use when cooking. “Use herbs such as parsley, oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, coriander, bay leaf, etc. instead. Also, add pepper, paprika, cumin, garlic, cinnamon, turmeric, fennel, ginger, etc. Lemon can be added to the meals, which enhance their flavour “, he suggests. And he points out that we must reduce as much as possible the consumption of processed, frozen and packaged foods, since they contain the most sodium, and consume more and more natural and fresh products (homemade broths, fresh vegetables and fruits, legumes at natural, fresh and non-preserved meat and fish, natural and uncooked sausages and in moderation). Foods rich in potassium can be consumed frequently.

Are there healthy alternatives to this product? “The healthy alternative is dietary salt that contains potassium instead of sodium (potassium chloride). Nor should it be abused because excess potassium can be harmful to the heart. And the other alternatives are foods rich in potassium and those already mentioned up “, concludes Dr. Carrera.
Reduce salt in meals

How can we gradually reduce the amount of salt in our meals? The doctor points out that there are options to reduce the amount of salt we use when cooking. “Use herbs such as parsley, oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, coriander, bay leaf, etc. instead. Also, add pepper, paprika, cumin, garlic, cinnamon, turmeric, fennel, ginger, etc. Lemon can be added to the meals, which enhance their flavour “, he suggests. And he points out that we must reduce as much as possible the consumption of processed, frozen and packaged foods, since they contain the most sodium, and consume more and more natural and fresh products (homemade broths, fresh vegetables and fruits, legumes at natural, fresh and non-preserved meat and fish, natural and uncooked sausages and in moderation). Foods rich in potassium can be consumed frequently.

Are there healthy alternatives to this product? “The healthy alternative is dietary salt that contains potassium instead of sodium (potassium chloride). Nor should it be abused because excess potassium can be harmful to the heart. And the other alternatives are foods rich in potassium and those already mentioned up “, concludes Dr. Carrera.

What if you crave something salty?

The truth is that sometimes the body asks us to give it salty food. There’s a solution. The specialist explains that we can eat foods with flavour but through spices and herbs or lemons. These ingredients are harmless and flavour the food to mitigate the taste cravings in food that salt provides. “Potassium is also a flavour enhancer. So we can eat foods rich in potassium, but without overdoing it. Eat watermelon, banana, papaya, plum, almonds, mango, kiwi and orange and grapes raisins, and pistachios. Natural yogurt, sweet potato, avocado, thistle, spinach and, in general, all legumes are also rich in potassium, “he says.
arterial hypertension

Problems of excessive salt intake

We must control the amount of salt we take, mainly to try to avoid health problems. Without a doubt, one of the main ones is the rise in blood pressure. This favours that the walls of the arteries suffer more pressure due to the increase of water in the body and the volume of blood that they support, producing alteration of the wall of blood vessels with the consequent risk of formation of thrombi and atheroma plaques that cause the strokes and heart attacks. “It can also cause arrhythmias, as well as produce kidney stones and deteriorate kidney function. It can cause dyspepsia and inflammation in the stomach lining that triggers gastritis, gastric ulcers and even stomach cancer. And last but not least importantly, it can cause osteoporosis with the consequent risk of fracture, since excess sodium causes calcium to be lost in the urine “, the specialist explains.

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