‘But Lot’s wife looked back and she became a pillar of salt (GENESIS 19:26)
We all need just a little salt (not a Lot) ;-). You are probably consuming at least six times as much common salt, or sodium chloride, as you need. Yes, even if you don’t add any salt to your food, you will be eating several times the amount your body requires.
So what? The problem is that there is a link between eating excessive salt and having raised blood pressure(hypertension) If your blood pressure is high, you are more likely to have a stroke or heart attack. In 1988 the British Medical Journal published the findings of the Intersalt study. This huge research project (on 10079 men and women from 52 population samples in 32 different countries across the world) investigated the relationship between salt consumption and blood pressure. The researchers measured the quantity of sodium excreted in the urine over a 24-hour period as an indicator of salt intake. The conclusions were inescapable. People with very low salt intakes had low blood pressures; high average salt consumption was linked with high average blood pressure.
And that wasn’t all. We are so used to blood pressure rising as we get older that it is commonly considered a normal part of the aging process. It isn’t. The Intersalt study showed that it didn’t happen in the groups of people with very low salt intakes. And the higher the average salt intake of a population, the more pronounced the age-related rise in pressure.
Clinical trials on people with raised blood pressure have shown a reduction in blood pressure when salt is restricted; in some cases, this has avoided the need to take drugs to treat raised blood pressure.
– A high-salt diet is linked with high blood pressure which leads to strokes and heart attacks
– On very low-salt diets, blood pressure doesn’t rise with age
– Up to 85% of our salt comes from processed foods
– The palate adjusts to salt reduction, but do it gradually or food will be tasteless
– Potassium helps to lower blood pressure; you get it from fruit and vegetables
– Eat as much of your food as possible whole/unprocessed
– Don’t add salt when eating
– When buying processed foods, go for lower-sodium products
– Season skilfully with: pepper, garlic, herbs, spices, mustard, lemon, wine, sherry, vermouth, vinegar, etc.
– Take care with ready-made flavourings such as stock cubes, soy sauce, etc.