December 2, 2021

Sodium and Its Significance in Your Diet

3 min read

In almost everything you eat and drink, sodium — frequently simply referred to as salt — is contained. It can be found naturally in many foods, is added to others during the manufacturing process, and is used as a flavoring additive in restaurants and at home. Sodium has long been associated with high blood pressure, which, when continuously increased, damages blood vessels and arteries. As a result, you’re more likely to have heart disease, stroke, heart failure, or kidney disease. Several health organizations have therefore developed guidelines to reduce the intake of sodium.

Contrary to popular belief, the majority of dietary sodium (more than 70%) comes from eating packed and prepared foods, not from table salt added to the food while cooking or eating. Too much sodium is present in the food supply, and Americans who desire to consume less sodium may find it difficult to do so. Therefore the United States Food and Drug Administration is working along with the food sector to reduce sodium on a wide variety of foods in a fair manner. And although salt may already be present in many packaged foods when you buy them, the Nutrition Facts label can help you reduce your daily sodium intake.

Food source for Sodium:

The majority of foods include sodium. Sodium chloride, also known as table salt, is the most prevalent type of sodium. Natural sources of salt include milk, beets, and celery. The amount of sodium in drinking water varies depending on the source. Many food products also have sodium added. Monosodium glutamate (MSG), sodium nitrite, sodium saccharin, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), and sodium benzoate are some of the additional types. These are available in things like Worcestershire sauce, soy, onion salt, jelly salt and broth cubes. Added sodium can be found in processed meats like bacon, sausage, and ham, as well as canned soups and vegetables. Baked items that have been processed, such as packaged cookies, snack cakes, and doughnuts, are frequently high in salt. Fast foods have a lot of sodium in them.

What is the relation between Sodium and Blood Pressure?

Because salt attracts water, a high-sodium diet can cause water to enter the bloodstream, increasing blood volume and, as a result, blood pressure. Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a disease in which the body pressure remains increased over time. Hypertension causes the heart to work very hard, as well as the blood flow’s excessive force can damage arteries and organs (such as the heart, kidneys, brain, and eyes). High blood pressure that isn’t under control can lead to heart attacks, heart failure, strokes, kidney damage, and blindness. Furthermore, because blood pressure tends to grow with age, reducing sodium intake becomes increasingly crucial with each passing year.

Simple Ways to Reduce Sodium Consumption:

  1. Limit the sauces packed, mixes and items “instant” (including flavoured rice, instant noodles or pasta).
  2. Reduce the quantity of table salt you use in cooking, baking, and at the table. To add flavour to your cuisine, use no-salt seasoning mixes, herbs, and spices rather than salt.
  3. Raw meat, poultry, and seafood are preferable than processed meats, poultry, and shellfish. Also, for fresh meat and poultry, examine the packaging to determine if salt water or saline has been injected.
  4. Fresh, frozen (without sauce or flavour), or reduced sodium or no-salt-added canned vegetables are also good options.
  5. When you eat less, you eat less salt. Make smaller quantities at home and drink less when you eat—pick smaller servings, split a meal into a friend or take a part in the dinner at home

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