You Eat More Salt Than You Think

SaltOur body does need salt. And we do eat it every day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner – during every meal we eat salt. At the first glance it seems we always know how much salt we’ve eaten today. But in reality we eat more salt than it seems every day. And that’s because we actually don’t see it. Learn how to find hidden salt!

How Much Salt Do You Need?

Adult weighing 132 pounds (60 kg) has 120 g of salt hidden in the body. And that’s not a notorious build up of excess salt. That much salt is vital for our body function. Natrium and chlorine maintain the balance of fluids in the body. Chloride ions are necessary for the production of hydrochloric acid, an essential constituent in gastric juice. Natrium ions help to maintain the acid-base balance. They are involved in transferring nervous impulses. They are also responsible for delivering glucose and amino acids to the blood and tissues and stimulate the activity of ferments in cells.

We need 2 500 mg of salt daily. It equals about one third of a teaspoon.

In reality, we consume much more. Those who like pickles, sauerkraut and fast food get a rounded tablespoonful of salt every day.

Excessive Salt Consumption and Health Problems

It is considered that excessive salt consumption is especially harmful to people suffering from hypertension. Scientists also found out that there are people who are extremely sensitive to salt. This sensitivity is hereditary and means that a person’s blood pressure much depends on the changes in salt consumption.

Excessive salt consumption is also harmful to those with cardiac insufficiency as it causes a swelling of the heart muscle. Swelling of kidneys (nephrosis and nephritis) occurs when kidneys are not able to remove excessive salt from the body. That’s why doctors prescribe salt-free diets against these diseases. And patients have to count their salt consumption, even if it’s sometimes hard to do.

When Should You Add Salt to Food?

Many gourmands prefer to add salt to their own taste after a dish has been cooked. They use a salt grinder as the salt should be freshly ground. Health specialists welcome this habit: our taste buds react to large crystals of salt faster, thus, you will consume less salt.

Do You Know What Contains Salt?

Even if you throw away your saltcellar, you will still consume salt. The salt you season your food with makes only 15% of all consumed natrium. The salt is hiding in processed foods that are pre-salted (it makes 75 % of daily salt allowance) and in raw foods (10%) that contain salt naturally. Think of what you’ve eaten today and calculate your salt consumption. Makes you wonder!

Salt Content of Foods

Here’s the list of foods with the salt content of each of them, per 100 g.

  • Salami – up to 2 500 mg
  • Parmesan cheese – 1 100 mg
  • Tilsit cheese – 820 mg
  • Instant soup – up to 800 mg
  • White bread – up to 150 mg
  • Milk, kefir – 50 mg
  • Codfish – 100 mg
  • Flounder fish – 200 mg
  • Spinach – 62 mg
  • Beef – 55 mg
  • Cottage cheese – 41 mg
  • Bananas – 31 mg
  • Apples – 26 mg
  • 1 chicken egg – 134 mg
  • One celery stalk – 35 mg
  • 1 baked potato – 15 mg
  • 1 sweet pepper – 2 mg

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