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Please Pass Me The Salt!

Saturday, September 29, 2012
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An introduction... 
Salt or more specifically sodium (Na), a constituent of salt is essential for normal body function, as it helps with
•    Maintaining hydration
•    maintaining acid-base balance
•    conducting nerve impulses
•    contraction of muscles in the body
High intake of salt is associated with hypertension and edema and it is also known to increase calcium excretion and overtime may lead to osteoporosis.
Eating too little salt can however lead to `hyponatremia. `
Read on for more information on this `magical potion' that can make or break a recipe!

Sodium is an absolutely necessary mineral for the human body. Without it, nerves and muscles would cease to function the absorption of major nutrients would be impaired, and the body would be able to maintain adequate water and mineral balance. Many people with hypertension history are sodium sensitive, meaning their blood pressure gets easily affected even with the slightest increase in sodium consumption increases after they consume excessive amount sodium and decreases after they reduce their sodium intake, so they are advised to take sodium restricted diet which is usually limits sodium consumption-2 g/d (1/2 tsp /day)

Sources of sodium
Though sodium is regular part of our food .It is found naturally in meats, nuts, grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products. Most common sources of sodium are table salt, processed food, and drugs.

Requirement of sodium:
Na is normally recycled in the body and it's only necessary to eat enough sodium to replace our daily losses as it is lost by the body through perspiration and some bodily secretions.

FYI - 1 tsp = 2300mg

Sodium Content of some common foods
Orange juice-1 cup - 5mg
Grape juice- 1 cup-   8mg
Cheddar cheese 1 oz - 186 mg
Cream- 1 oz - 84mg
Skim milk- 1cup- 126mg
Whole Milk   -1cup - 120mg
Eggs- whole (boiled)-59gm
Sardines canned-3 oz - 552mg
Banana served 1- 2mg
Strawberries-1cup -2 mg
Cherries- raw 1 cup - 2 mg
Oatmeal - 3/4 cup - 1mg
Popcorn with oil and salt - 1cup  400 mg ++
Potato chips- 10 pcs - 200 mg
Cookies - Brown, iced frozen -1 69mg
Sauerkraut, 1 Cup - 1560 mg
Tomato sauce, 1 Cup -1284 mg
Baked beans, 1 Cup -1114 mg
Ready soups, 1 cup -1000 mg [On an average]
Cheeseburger, 1 No.  - 1051 mg
Carbonated beverage, 1 can  - 100 mg

Low sodium alternatives
Garlic. pepper, lemon and other spices, fresh raw vegetables, home made soup,  shredded wheat, puffed rice, oatmeal. nuts and raisins, seeds

By. Dietitians,

Introduction By Meenakshi Hejmadi MS, RD

Select a nutrition care package to contact our team of nutritionists and get help reducing the amount of sodium you consume in your diet as well as with replacing high sodium foods with healthier options.



User Comments

30 December, 2013 | dorothee | Reply

dorothee Hi, I think the difference between table salt and sea salt is that table salt has no mineral left in it when sea salt as well as Himalayan salts have around 80 minerals.

18 July, 2012 | ruma | Reply

ruma plz mention me the food which contain low sodium and helpful for the patient of suffering from brain storke

23 May, 2012 | Bhavini | Reply

Bhavini One should be cautious using extra salt. Even salt substitue has sodium. Its very important to read label and watch portion when using table salt or salt substitute that has sodium.

02 November, 2010 | Madhur Sinha | Reply

Madhur Sinha I would like to know about DASH diet. Kindly help. Thanks.

20 April, 2012 | Poonam | Reply

Poonam DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It is a lifelong approach to healthy eating and also helps to treat or prevent high blood pressure (hypertension). It encourages one to reduce sodium in the diet, and eat foods which help lower blood pressure.
It also offers protection against osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

04 October, 2010 | Mohini Chawla | Reply

Mohini Chawla We should include fresh food in out diet rather than emphasizing on processed food.This would help us to reduce our sodium intake.

03 June, 2010 | Poonam Vaswani | Reply

Poonam Vaswani Hello Shalini,
Table salt, sea salt. kosher salt are different kinds of salts used for cooking. They are all basically composed of sodium chloride. Sea salt is unrefined & unprocessed and also contains minerals like iron, sulphur, magnesium etc. Refining & processing removes these minerals from table salt, making it over 99% sodium chloride, which is slightly higher than that of sea salt.
Thank You for your query.
Poonam Vaswani

03 June, 2010 | Kanika Jain | Reply

Kanika Jain Hi Shalini,
Though common perception is that sea salt is more healthy alternative to common salt, in real it is not so.

Only difference is in their taste, texture and processing. There is no major difference in their chemical makeup.By weight, sea salt and table salt contain about same amount of sodium chloride.

Kanika Jain

03 June, 2010 | Shalini | Reply

Shalini Hi,
Does sea salt contain less sodium than table salt?

21 December, 2009 | Sunil | Reply

Sunil very informative article ..gets you thinking. Thank you Nutrition Vista team

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Tags: Cardiovascular Disease, Chronic Lifestyle Diseases, Eat Healthy, General health, Hypertension, Sodium


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