Do not put health under the razor blade!
We all know how much salt plays a role in our health. If we consume it less, it affects our health in one way, and if we consume it a lot, it affects our health in another way. To know to what extent we should use this white substance, it is better to have a study in this field.
According to Jame Jam Online, the presence of salt mines in Iran and our easy and cheap access to this substance has caused us to witness its excessive consumption, while the permissible limit of salt consumption is five grams per day according to the World Health Organization. Iranians more than double this amount, ie 10 to 15 grams per day. Interestingly, almost all of us do not agree that we eat a lot of salt, and only when we have a problem, many do not think that it may be part of the problem due to salt consumption. A recurring question these days could be whether salt is finally used in cooking.
Dr. Tirang Neyestani, a nutritionist, professor and director of the Department of Nutrition Research at the Nutrition Research Institute of Food Industry affiliated to Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, answers this question of the audience and says: Salt is a substance composed of two elements, sodium and chlorine. And its most important role is to provide part of the body’s need for sodium.
How to evaluate salt consumption
Of course, this does not mean that if we do not consume salt, there are no other sources of sodium for the body. Spinach, beets, celery, carrots, eggs and dairy are foods that contain sodium, and even if we do not eat salt, we can get enough sodium. Processed foods such as canned food, fast foods, sweets and cakes and biscuits contain sodium due to the consumption of baking soda. Depending on how much salt you consume for cooking and the use of prepared foods, you can estimate how much sodium you are getting.
The role of sodium in the body
Sodium has been shown to play a role in salt metabolism in the body, the transmission of nerve signals, and the proper functioning of muscles, but what happens if sodium levels increase due to excessive salt intake?
“Calcium is excreted in the urine, and bone health gradually declines and a person develops osteoporosis,” says Dr. Neyestani. Impaired kidney function can also be caused by high salt intake. Excess salt causes water to build up in the body and cause it to swell, while salt intake has been shown to affect gastric cancer malignancy.
Salt and blood pressure rise
We have heard a lot that high salt intake has an effect on hypertension. According to Dr. Neyestani, the cause of 90% of cases of hypertension is not known and sometimes the cause is family.
He emphasizes: “It is true that in two-thirds of cases, salt restriction does not help improve hypertension and is ineffective, but certainly long-term salt consumption can affect people with cardiovascular disease.”
Asked if an increase in sodium in the body causes a problem or if salt has a specific property that causes a problem, the nutritionist said: “Salt contains 40% sodium and 60% chlorine and is the main reason for harmful consumption.” On top of that, there is chlorine next to sodium. For this reason, it has an effect on the hypertension of susceptible people. The lower the source of sodium intake, the less protection a person has from developing blood pressure-related illnesses (stroke, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, etc.).
The role of mothers in controlling salt intake
I witnessed a while ago, a mother made her seven-month-old baby porridge with a lot of sugar and said, if the porridge is not too sweet, the baby will refuse to eat it. At that moment, I remembered the children whose parents try a thousand tricks to prevent the child from eating sweets or other snacks, while it is the parents themselves, especially the mothers, who are involved in the formation of these eating habits in the children.
The same is true of salt consumption in adulthood. An important part of children’s taste is formed by the mother. The taste buds naturally get used to the saltyness of the food. If the child is accustomed to eating low-salt foods from the beginning, we do not need to witness wars and fights over reducing salt consumption in adulthood.
Characteristics of family salt
Industrial salts, sea salts, iodized salts and, more recently, potassium salts for people with high blood pressure are the salts on the market. Dr. Neyestani recommends that the salt used in family food should be iodized, with a standard seal and packaged.
“Salt has no healing properties at best, and the same is true of sea salt, which comes from the evaporation of seawater,” he said of sea salt fever because of its healing properties. Incidentally, sea salt can cause poisoning due to the heavy metals it contains.
“This type of salt uses a high percentage of potassium instead of sodium, which tastes a little bitter,” says the nutritionist. Potassium intake can be harmful to people with other diseases, including cardiovascular disease. For this reason, its use should be according to the doctor’s opinion and prescription and should not be done arbitrarily.
Antimicrobial properties of salt
Concentrated salt has antimicrobial properties but is not antiseptic. The use of salt to wash the mucus should be low and 9 grams per liter. Otherwise, it will dry out the mucosa and worsen the inflammation of the throat.
The role of taste buds in salt consumption
The reason for consuming salt before tasting food is that the threshold of stimulation of the taste buds of these people is high and they do not feel the taste of food with the usual amount. This is especially true for the elderly. The way is not to add salt to food, but it is better to use other flavors and condiments.