The Damaging Health Effects of Excess Salt Consumption
Do you know that high salt intake:
- Weakens your immune system
- Promotes tissue inflammation
- Activates autoimmune diseases 1
These side effects of excess salt consumption have been observed over years by scientists and researchers.
As you can see, the conclusions are quite grim.
You see, to preserve a good health, a person should consume about 1,500 milligrams/day.
In reality, the average American takes in over 3,592 milligrams of salt/day.
And if you are:
- over 50 years old
- suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes or long-term kidney disease
Then you should know that too much salt can put your health in great danger.
Hidden Names for Salt
Even if you would like to lower your salt intake, reading the label won’t be as helpful as you’d think. There are alternative names which companies use to hide the word “salt”:
- Sodium alginate
- Sodium ascorbate
- Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
- Sodium benzoate
- Sodium caseinate
- Sodium chloride
- Sodium citrate
- Sodium hydroxide
- Sodium saccharin
- Sodium stearoyl lactylate
- Sodium sulfite
- Disodium phosphate
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
- Trisodium phosphate
So be careful the next time you buy something and check the labels thoroughly. It may take you a few minutes, but it will spare you a lifetime of pain.
Also, you could avoid the foods with the most salt content on the market.
Avoid These Common Foods Drowning with Salt 6
Just 5 ounces of frozen turkey and gravy dinner contains 1,255 milligrams. That’s almost the entire quantity of salt accepted in an entire day.
Some raisin brands have up to 210 milligrams of sodium in each cup. So, go easy on them.
One cup of vegetable juice cocktail has 615 milligrams.
They usually contain added sodium from sauces or seasonings.
Packaged Deli Meats
Just two slices of dry salami made of beef or pork can have 362 milligrams of sodium. That makes it a problem since no one stops at just 2 or 4 slices.
Just one cup of canned chicken noodle soup can contain up to 831 milligrams of salt.
Marinades and Flavorings
One tablespoon of teriyaki sauce can have up to 879 milligrams of sodium. The same amount of soy sauce may have up to 1,005 milligrams.
Just half a cup can contain 577 milligrams of salt and that quantity is not enough to coat a serving of pasta.
Canned Jalapeno Peppers
Just ¼ of a cup (either solid or liquid) has up to 434 milligrams of sodium.
Most dry-roasted brands have 116 milligrams of sodium and that in just one single ounce.
These quite obviously contain quite a lot of salt and we all know we can’t stop at just a few.
- Potato chips contain 136 milligrams/ounce.
- Cheese puffs have 263 milligrams/ounce.
- Pretzels contain 352 milligrams/ ounce.
Avoid the “all-in-one” boxes and the flavor packet, since you might be eating half of your daily allowance of salt in one serving.
Some common condiments you use daily are filled with salt:
Ketchup (1 tablespoon) = 154 milligrams
Sweet relish (1 tablespoon) = 122 milligrams
Capers (1 tablespoon) = 202 milligrams (drained)
9 Tips to Cut Back On Salt
#1 Tip: Morning Breakfast
Instead of eating your usual high sugar, high salt cereal, try the healthier alternatives – puffed rice and wheat.
You can also search for low-sodium versions of cereals next time you go to the grocery store.
#2 Tip: Rinse Canned Vegetables
Why? They contain high amounts of salt that could seriously damage your health.
Instead, look for labels that say “no salt added” or “sodium”, or check in the freezer section, you might have more luck finding there an unsalted dish.
#3 Tip: Healthier Substitute for Marinades
Yes, you might love soy sauce, but even the “lower-sodium” one can have more than your heart can take.
For flavor, try vinegar or lemon juice, 100% healthier and 100% less salt (since they naturally don’t have any).
You can use orange or pineapple juice as the base of your meat marinades.
Healthy, exotic and incredibly tasty. You’ll see. (wink)
#4 Tip: Salt-Free Spices
You know those “all in one” shakers at the store, where you have three or four kinds of spices mixed into one shaker?
Well those – although they seem extremely convenient – they contain lots and lots of salt.
Best thing you can do?
Ditch them and find the salt-free version or choose the simple herbs. You won’t regret it.
#5 Tip: Watch Serving Sizes
Remember that every time you read the nutrition label, the amount of salt or sugar is NOT for the whole package.
It’s usually for one serving or 100 grams. So pay close attention to it.
#6 Tip: Food Label Cheat Sheet
No more confusion for you, next time you go to the grocery store, you’ll know exactly what to buy:
Sodium-free: Less than 5 milligrams a serving
Very low-sodium: 35 milligrams or less per serving
Low-sodium: Less than 140 milligrams per serving
Reduced sodium: 25% less sodium
Unsalted, no salt added, or without added salt: Made without the salt normally used, but still has the sodium that’s a natural part of the food itself.
#7 Tip: Check Your Medicines
I was shocked too!
But oddly enough, some medications (for headaches and heartburns) do contain sodium carbonate or bicarbonate.
Be careful with them and read the ingredient list carefully.
#8 Tip: Eating Out
Menu choices at the restaurant could contain massive amounts of salt. Here are a few dishes that contain added salt:
- Appetizers with cheese or meat
However, you can kindly ask them to prepare your food without added salt.
#9 Tip: Smart & Healthier Choices
Now that you know how dangerous salt can be to your health, you can make the right choices.
When it comes down to eating meat, try fish because it’s a lower-sodium option. However, pay close attention to the seasoning.
For the side dish, steamed veggies (without salt) are great.
Some low-sodium desserts are:
- ice cream
- angel food cake
If you want to preserve a stellar health or improve the way you feel right now, just try this simple lifestyle tip.
Multiple studies have shown that cutting down on salt can:
- cut down blood pressure
- lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney damage
So, why not try it out?
What do you think about this?
How much salt do you consume in a day?
Write your thoughts in the comment section below.
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To your health!