It has been a popular belief that too much salt and sodium intake is dangerous for health and it can increase blood pressure. Considering all these things we have cut the consumption of salt and tried to get less and less sodium. However, it has been found out that blood pressure is much more complex than the usage of sodium only.
Recommended salt intake
The current recommendations on salt intake are 2300 mg of sodium per person in a day for most of the people. In simple language, it would be approximately one teaspoon of salt. However, according to researches normal person uses 3500 mg of sodium per day due to packaged food and restaurant food. Food companies and restaurants have been warned to lower down their salt consumption.
Another study found out that lower level of potassium causes a higher level of sodium which in turns increases blood pressure. The reason is that potassium causes the kidneys to get rid of sodium. Potassium’s rich source is fruit and vegetables and most of the people are not getting enough of these hence causing the potassium to lower down and sodium levels to rise.
Need for Sodium in Human Body
Before the advent of salty foods, we used to find salt to keep our body’s sodium level at an optimal level. Sodium helps the human body to retain the water inside the blood vessels as to keep our bodies from dehydrating. Effects of low sodium levels in the body can be seen in the form of dizziness. Hence it has been proved that we do need sodium to keep our bodies in working state, however, most of us are consuming too much of it.
How much to take?
Sodium intake is relative to every person, some of us need more than others. People who exercise more and sweat more need more sodium than others. Thus, it depends on the food you take and the amount of work you do which decides the level of sodium intake in the body.
Tips to keep sodium level in balance
These simple tips will help you maintain the sodium level in balance.
- Blood pressure monitoring
Keeping track of your blood pressure will help the person keep a check on his/her sodium intake.
- Avoid using packaged food
Packaged food contains a lot of sodium content if one wishes to keep his sodium level in balance; one must avoid using packaged food. Even the food prepared by restaurants is also high in sodium and should be avoided.
- Cook for yourself
When you are cooking for yourself, it will help keep track of the amount of different ingredients used.
- Salt should be sprinkled on top of food
It has been suggested by the experts to sprinkle the salt on top of food instead of using it in the food.
- Careful about the diet
According to experts, bread is the most used food, and it is also the number one source of sodium. It should also be taken in small portions.
Although we have found a lot of important things through science, researches still need to be done to get conclusive proofs.