Monitoring salt intake

 

Salt, or sodium chloride, is needed for the healthy functioning of the body. Just one teaspoon of salt a day is enough for this purpose. Consuming more than this amount of salt, especially if greatly in excess, can lead to high blood pressure, which is in turn a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and kidney failure. This is because the sodium found in salt acts like a sponge, causing water to be retained in the body. This makes the blood volume expand, thus raising the blood pressure in our veins and arteries.

Read more: High Blood Pressure as a Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Disease

Most of us take in far too much salt, especially in the form “hidden” salt in food products such as commercial seasonings, tomato ketchup, sausages, bacon, and smoked meats. To reduce your salt intake,

  • eat smoked / barbecued meats sparingly;
  • use less salt, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and other commercial seasonings in your cooking by replacing them with natural seasonings such as fresh herbs, ginger and onions;
  • have fresh fruit instead of snacking on highly-salted titbits such as potato chips.
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