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Salty scoop for your health

Our body needs salt for its normal functioning. Consume it in moderation.

Deepa Gupta | New Delhi |


“Salt to taste” is not just for taste. Ask your body. Besides balancing the sweetness and suppressing other flavours such as bitterness or sourness, our body needs salt for its normal functioning. Consume it in moderation. That’s the mantra to good nutritional status.

Salt is mainly composed of two minerals- 40 per cent sodium and 60 per cent chloride. So, it is called sodium chloride as well. Earlier it was used as a food preservative to prevent the growth of bacteria that cause food to go bad. But today we know multiple benefits of adding reasonable salt to our diet.

Our body needs proper amount of electrolytes, including salt to keep functioning uninterruptedly. By triggering the thirst mechanism, electrolyte makes us to consume adequate amount of water that keeps our kidneys intact and blood pressure normal.

Salt keeps the calcium and other minerals in the blood stream. It stimulates the adrenal glands.

It helps in preventing muscle cramping by stimulating muscle contraction.

Don’t forget to consume it in hot summer months as it prevents heat and sun strokes.

It keeps insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides level in control.

It helps in preventing heart diseases and heart strokes.

Taking high amounts of salt can be harmful, but consuming too little may be just as bad for your health. The optimal intake is somewhere between the two extremes. Too much amount may lead to high water retention and hypertension. It may add to your waistline and not good for overall health. Too little can create issues in tissue-water and acid base balance. According to American Heart Association an ideal limit of sodium is no more than 1500 mg per day for most of the healthy adults. It is less than ¾ th teaspoon of salt.

Keep salt in check in your diet pattern. Give more emphasis on fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy products, nuts, fish and whole grains. Limit red meat and sweets. It will help you limit your sodium intake. Sometimes a small adjustment can bring big results when it comes to health.