Diabetes and Salt Intake
Salt has been used by humans for centuries and it is often thought of as an important mineral. We need salt in our food. However, studies have found that people in UK liking for processed food has lead to too great an increase in the consumption of salt.
Have you ever wonder which foods contain plenty of salt? Do you know the risks and health benefits connected to salt? Do you know how to control the amount of salt taken by you each day? Well, letâs find out.
Salt is essential for our body as it assists to:
- Regulate the amount of water in our body.
- Maintain the correct pH of our blood.
- Transmit nerve signals.
Regular consumption of salt is necessary and it can be derived from lots of food. Since our body cannot produce any salt but is regularly excreted from the body, we have to take in a certain amount of salt each day.
However, it brings risks too
There is much talk on the risks brought by excessive levels of salt added to our foods. You ought to know the amount of salt in your meals and snacks. Do not use too much table salt. Later, you can read about the risks that excessive salt can bring.
Recommended intake of salt
According to the Department of Health, our salt intake should be limited to 6 grams or a teaspoon each day. At present, the average individual in the UK takes in approximately 9 grams of salt each day.
Some labels show the amount of sodium instead of the amount of salt in the food you buy. To get the equivalent quantity of salt to the figure given for sodium on the label, you have to multiply it by 2.5.
Foods with high salt content
All processed foods, including bread bought from a store, contain plenty of salt. Below is a list of foods with high salt content:
- Ready meals
- Gravy granules
- Breakfast cereal
- Pastries and pies
- Salted fish and prawns
- Salami, ham and bacon
- Pre-made sauces, including pasta sauces.
Decoding Food Labels – Video Guide
High blood pressure and salt
Salt intake has been associated with raised levels of blood pressure. In a study published in 2011, the DASH diet was used for 30 days to show that the average levels of blood pressure can be lowered with this sodium reduced diet.
Hypertension can lead to three times greater the possibility of getting stroke and heart disease. Blood pressure is especially important to diabetics as hypertension can also increase the chances of having microvascular problems like neuropathy or nerve damage, nephropathy or kidney disease, and retinopathy.
Stomach cancer and salt
According to the World Cancer Research Fund studies have concluded that there is a connection between excessive salt in meals and greater stomach cancer risk, with 14 percent of stomach cancer cases in UK caused by excessive salt intake.
How do I lower the quantity of salt consumed?
According to the World Cancer Research Fund, about three-quarter of the average human’s consumption of salt is derived from foods which have been processed. Therefore, eating less processed foods is the sure way to lessen intake of salt.
When you cook at home you are in control of the amount of salt used in preparing your meals. Furthermore, the level of nutrition in meals cooked at home is much greater than that of foods that have been prepared much earlier.
Which salt is the best?
You find table salt usually cheaper, free-flowing and fine. However, if you are looking for less processed salt with possibly no anti-caking agents; you have to check the labels; then sea salt is best.
UK often uses potassium ferrocyanide and sodium ferrocyanide as caking agents for table salt. Both these caking agents are compounds which have been found to be stable. In studies in which a much greater quantity of sodium ferrocyanide than is used in food for humans are given to rats, it can lead to kidney damage.