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Breaking Salt Myths

This article is authored by Dr. Shweta U. Shah. A practicing homeopath, she follows a patient-centred perspective, emphasizing the benefits of natural remedies and herbs, homeopathy and whole food nutrition.

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Given that salt is such an omnipresent ingredient,it can be daunting to figure out what your daily salt intake should be and how to circumvent consuming too much of it.Every day, we are hit by a barrage of questions – what’s the best salt for health, what is the difference between sea salt, rock salt and table salt,how to measure and decide your salt intake per day?

Sodium, the principle element in salt is the tricky factor. Trying to approximate how much sodium you should consume in one day can get confusing. All the hidden sodiumin processed food makes it so much harder to figure this out. Along with this, sodium’s immediate and crucial impact on our health makes it even more important to understand the truth about this mineral.

Let’s explore these 5 facts and myths about salt.

Myth #1: Sodium has no health benefits; eliminate salt completely from your diet.

Fact:

Sodium is a critical element – it regulates your blood pressure and is necessary to ensure that thenerves and muscles function optimally. However, just the right amount is crucial.Consult your healthcare provider to determine the right amount of salt, if you are diagnosed with hypertension, high cholesterol or diabetes mellitus.

Myth #2: Rock salt has less sodium than table salt.

Fact:

By weight, all kinds of salt contain the same amount of sodium - sea salt, kosher salt, rock salt, black salt, pink salt and table salt. Typically, all salts contain approximately 40% sodium. Conversely, when you balance out a teaspoon of sea salt or kosher salt or any salt, to a teaspoon of table salt, the salts that have big crystals are less tightly packed together and consequently,may have a wee bit less sodium. At the same time, along with sodium, rock salt also contains trace amount of minerals, which may marginally reduce the sodium content in the salt. It contains approximately 97% sodium, while the other 3% includes minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium.

Myth #3: I have hypertension, I have to reduce sodium intake. So, my food will have no taste at all.

Fact:

If you want to reduce sodium in your diet, you can opt for low sodium salt such as Tata Salt Lite which is designed to provide 15%lesser sodium than ordinary salt. This will help you maintain the taste of your food while reducing sodium intake. Additionally, you can also add various natural herbs and spicesto addto theflavour of your food.

Myth #4: I don’t add too much salt to the food, so I don't eat excessive amounts of sodium.

Eat Breakfast

Fact:

Many of us consume huge quantities of ‘hidden salt’. Approximately 75% of sodium that we consume comes from processed foods – cheese, butter, cookies, wafers, pickle, papad, and processed/ cured meat like cold cuts, sausages, salami, ham, bacon etc. So it is very essential that you keep your intake of processed foods to a minimum, if you want to reduce sodium intake. Over a period of time, you may even be able to continue eating the same amounts of salt in your home cooked food, if you eliminate these processed foods and packaged snacks from your diet.

Myth #5: I have normal blood pressure; I don’t need to fret about how much salt I consume.

Fact:

Even for people who don’t have hypertension, consuming less sodium decreases your risk developing hypertension, heart diseases, diabetes andkidney disease - which you may develop due to age or genetics.

It is important to consult your doctor before making any drastic lifestyle changes when it comes to salt. It is an important part of our diet and crucial to our well-being.



DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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