The recommended intake of sodium per day is not more than 2.3g (1 teaspoon of table salt or 5.5-6 g salt/day/person) for optimal functioning of our body to retain water and maintain blood pressure, along with effective functioning of nerves and muscles. However, the average intake of salt has seen to be 10-14g of salt/day in most diets. Consistently increased load of salt to the body over the years can have adverse impacts on health like increased BP.
5 POINT GUIDELINE:
Measuring salt used in cooking: Try and bring the salt quantity down gradually (within 3 months) to 1 teaspoon of salt/person/day.
Using alternate taste-enhancing substances: Introduce other effective and healthy substances which can be added to food to enhance taste instead of salt: onion, garlic, ginger, olives, vinegar (apple cider-salt free), cumin, lemon, bell peppers/paprika, cilantro, mustard, fennel, celery, and pepper.
Increase Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium in diet: This is achieved by increasing the intake of green vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, resins, and whole grains in the diet. Low-fat milk, yogurt, and tofu (paneer) are good dairy sources for Calcium.
Restrict and Reduce processed, packaged, and preserved foods: If buying packaged or preserved items, select low DV or low sodium items. The amount in milligrams (mg) and the Percent Daily Value (%DV) of sodium in one serving of the food should be less than 2.4g. (Low DV=5% DV or less of sodium/serving and High DV = 20% DV or more of sodium/serving). Washing canned/frozen meats, seafood, and vegetables well, before consumption can also reduce salt intake.
Water intake: Taking high amounts of water to compensate for the high salt diet is not advisable as this can lead to an increase in blood pressure, water retention, and swelling. Boiling does not remove excess salt from drinking water and can actually increase salt concentration. Reverse Osmosis filters (RO) filters are effective in removing most of the salt from tap water. Water intake should be at the normal recommendation of 1.5-2 liters/day.
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