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Pure Motivation » General Discussion » Health and Wellness/ الصحة و اللياقة » The truth about Salt

The truth about Salt

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1 The truth about Salt on Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:50 pm


Salt is fundamental when it comes to how we experience the taste of food, although too much of it can harm our health. But salt is also a vital part of our diet and it's easier to control than you think.

Salt of the earth
Salt is a common food ingredient used for taste and food preservation and is a combination of sodium and chloride. The most common kind is table salt, but other popular kinds include sea salt, rock salt and flakes, which are likely to vary in the way they taste. Sodium is an essential mineral for balancing water levels in our bodies and regulating nerve impulses and muscle contractions. Too much of it can promote high blood pressure. Used wisely, however, and salt actually provides health benefits. For example, it's used for iodine fortification in many developing countries where iodine deficiency is the main cause of potentially preventable mental retardation in childhood, as well as causing goitre and hypothyroidism in people of all ages.

Salt facts
Our word salary is derived from the Latin word for salt, salarium.
Typical salt intakes in western countries are 9g a day – around double the ideal level recommended by the World Health Organization.
Up to 75% of our salt intake now comes from processed foods such as bread, ready-meals, soups, breakfast cereals and snacks.
A further 15% is added during cooking and at the table.
Just 10% is found naturally in foods.
One quarter of adults have high blood pressure and a third of those don't know it – high blood pressure sufferers often don't display any symptoms.
Link: http://www.unilever.com/brands/hygieneandwelbeing/healthyliving/articles/the_truthabout_salt.aspx


2 Re: The truth about Salt on Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:52 pm



5 Tips on Reducing Salt Intake

Eating less sodium can help lower some people's blood pressure. This can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Sodium is something we need in our diets, but most of us eat too much of it. Much of the sodium we eat comes from salt we add to our food at the table or that food companies add to their foods. So, avoid adding salt to foods at the table and use these 5 tips to reduce your salt intake:

Take stock of the sources of salt in your diet, such as restaurant meals, salt-based condiments, and convenience foods. Some of these are really loaded with salt.

Read the labels when shopping. Look for lower sodium in cereals, crackers, pasta sauces, canned vegetables, or any foods with low-salt options.

If you think your meals are high in sodium, balance them by adding high-potassium foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables.

Ask about salt added to food, especially at restaurants. Most restaurant chefs will omit salt when requested.

If you need to salt while cooking, add the salt at the end; you will need to add much less. The longer the food cooks, the more the salty flavor is muted and at the end, the final taste is on the top layer.

Link: WebMd.com

3 Re: The truth about Salt on Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:54 pm


Sea Salt
Sea salt is the unrefined salt that is obtained by simply evaporating the water from the seas or oceans. Sea water is channeled into man-made pools along protected shores, and is then left under the Sun till all the water gets evaporated. What is left behind in the pools is sea salt. Sea salt is 98% sodium chloride, while the remaining 2% is made of other important minerals like iron, sulfur, magnesium and other trace elements. Due to higher mineral content, sea salts are more flavored than table salt. Sea salts are used as crust for baked potatoes. Chefs also use it in French or Thai cuisines.

Table Salt
The common table salt is 99.9% sodium chloride. It is obtained from the terrestrial salt deposits which are mined, heat-blasted and chemically treated. Due to these processes, table salt is stripped of all minerals other than sodium and chloride. Some anti-caking agents are added to table salt to make it free flowing. Although, initially table salt which had just sodium and chlorine as the only minerals was consumed by people, later on, salt manufacturers started adding iodine to it to prevent people from suffering from iodine deficiency diseases.

Table Salt Vs. Sea Salt
Besides the difference in the manufacturing process, sea salt and table salt differ in the following ways:
•While sodium and chlorine are the only minerals contained in table salt, sea salt has other minerals like iron, sulfur and magnesium naturally present in them. This increases the nutritive value of sea salt as compared to table salt. The various minerals present in sea salt helps us to maintain a healthy balance of the various electrolytes in the body.
•The refining process of table salt strips it of all of its minerals, other than sodium and chloride. This makes it an unnatural substance as compared to sea salt, and contributes to high blood pressure, heart and kidney diseases. On the other hand, health benefits of sea salt include, inducing proper sleep, promoting efficient working of the liver, kidneys and the adrenal glands. Sea salts also boost the immune system of the body and don't cause high blood pressure like refined table salt.
•Although, due to the higher mineral content, sea salt may be considered to be a healthier choice than table salt, it has its own drawbacks. One major disadvantage of sea salt is that it is a poor source of iodine. The iodine that is added during the refining process of table salt makes it a better source of iodine than sea salt.
•Another health concern that sea salt raises, is the fact that it is obtained from sea water that contains a number of impurities. The sea water is neither boiled nor treated, as that would make it lose the minerals that gives it all its nutritive value.
•Table salt is fine, white crystals. Sea salt on the other hand may have a slight grayish color if they are from the coastal areas of France, or may pinkish hue if it came from some other exotic locale. It may be coarse or fine grained.
•Due to the presence of many minerals, sea salt is not as 'salty' as table salt. It may be slightly flavored.
Some retailers may sell sea salts that are fine-grained and white in color. If you want to enjoy the advantages of sea salt, be sure that it is the unrefined one and contains the minerals that gives it an edge over table salt.


4 Re: The truth about Salt on Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:00 pm



5 Re: The truth about Salt on Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:01 pm


Diet Myth or Truth: I Don't Need to Worry About Sodium
Are low-sodium diets just for people with high blood pressure?
By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
WebMD Expert Column You don't need to worry about the sodium in your diet unless you have a health condition like heart disease or high blood pressure -- right? Wrong. Americans love their salt, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued a report saying that 2 out of 3 of us need to seriously cut back our sodium intake.

It may not have calories, but sodium is not as innocent as many people think. Too much sodium can increase the risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. This is cause for concern, as heart disease and stroke are the No. 1 and No. 3 killers of men and women in the United States each year. (Cancer is No. 2.)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that the average American consumes 4,000 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day – far more than the maximum recommendation of 2,300 mg (the equivalent of one teaspoon of salt). But the CDC report suggests that 69% of Americans need to cut back even further, to no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day. Count yourself among this 69% if you're over 40, African-American, or have high blood pressure.

The Mintel research group estimates that more than half of U.S. consumers are now monitoring the sodium in their diets. And manufacturers are responding. Campbell’s, for example, is reducing the sodium in many of its soups. The number of new food products claiming to be low-sodium, no-sodium, or reduced-sodium increased 115% from 2005 to 2008.

That’s a good thing, because 70%-80% of the sodium in U.S. diets comes not from the salt shaker but from packaged, processed, restaurant, and store-bought foods. Only about 5% comes from salt added during cooking; about 6% comes from salt added at the table.

In May, the Center for Science in the Public Interest released a report that found 85 out of 102 restaurant meals from 17 popular chains had more than a full day's worth of sodium. Some had more than four days’ worth.

But reducing sodium is not easy. Our taste buds have grown accustomed to the salty taste of most foods and unlike for sugar, there are few convincing substitutes. Not only does sodium flavor foods, it also acts as a preservative and as an inhibitor in leavening agents. Sodium is found not only in salt but also in baking soda, baking powder, and MSG.

Still, if you're one of the two out of three adults at risk for health problems from too much sodium, the CDC report should serve as a wake-up call to lower the amount of sodium you consume. Here are seven simple steps to cut the sodium in your diet:

Read nutrition labels on foods you purchase to see how much sodium they contain.
Ask for salt-free or low-salt preparation at restaurants.
Eat more fresh, unprocessed foods, like fruits and vegetables, which are naturally low in sodium.
Reduce the amount of sodium in canned foods by thoroughly draining and rinsing them.
Go easy on high-sodium condiments like soy sauce, mustard, and ketchup.
Use herbs, citrus, and salt-free spices to season recipes.
Learn the lingo: Sodium-free or salt-free = less than 5mg/serving
o Very low sodium = 35 mg or less/serving

o Low sodium = 140 mg or less/serving

o Reduced or less-sodium = 50% less than regular version

o Unsalted or no added salt = no salt added to the product

Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, is director of nutrition for WebMD. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.


6 Re: The truth about Salt on Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:10 pm


Thank you for the post sister.

7 Re: The truth about Salt on Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:06 am


All-Star Member
All-Star Member
Siister Zaharah. Smile Very good posts.

8 Re: The truth about Salt on Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:04 pm


Senior Member
Senior Member
Thanks dear sis for this post. I too have become aware of the sodium content in foods and i stay away from processed, canned and packaged foods. If I do used them I eat only the serving size and rinse canned items off, that helps elevate some of the salt content.

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