The pinch by pinch slow killer Salt

Lata Jain

Salt: good? Bad? Both! It will kill you no matter what you do.

The more salt we eat, the more we carve for it. This vicious cycle is the chief cause of hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

For decades now, the “accepted” medical advice on recommended salt intake has fluctuated like a bobble head doll, and the media’s alarmist coverage has fluctuated right along in lockstep.

Consuming too much salt causes hypertension and increases the risk of cardio vascular disease and stroke according to Dr.Narsimhmam, cardiologist of care hospitals. The higher prevalence of hypertension in urban areas could be attributed to increased salt intake in these areas. The daily sodium consumption for adults is two grams according to the British medical journal.

According to Dr.Arshad, physician at Apollo hospitals ‘salt is used extensively in canned, preserved and junk food to induce craving”. Increasing levels of sodium in our diets have created what amounts to a cultural addiction to salt. People need to be educated on moderation.

Dr.Anoop Saxena endocrinologist says, “we consume “invisible salt “which is nearly impossible to track-the salt in bread and bakes and of course, snacks, bhujias and mixtures”

Yes, the commonly used salt at your home can also kill! Whether you believe it or not but a recent study has proved that excess of Sodium Chloride (NaCl) aka the common salt is not only harmful but can also prove fatal for humans.

A study conducted by World Health Organization (WHO) claims that the daily maximum intake of salt of a person should not be more than 5 grams a day however; according to the Indian office of WHO, the average daily consumption of salt per person in India is 9-12 grams per day which is alarmingly high.

Especially those who are fond of Pav-Bhajis, Dosas and Chhole Bhature are at greater risk as these hold a very large amount of salt (3.54 gm, 4.51 gm and 3.91 gm respectively).

According to the American Heart Association meeting report, researchers used a series of analyses to identify the role excess sodium played in the development of cardiovascular disease, defined as all diseases of the heart and blood vessels, including stroke.  An “excess” level of sodium was defined as more than 1000 mg per day.

They then linked the consumption of excess sodium to cardiovascular-disease related deaths and found that nearly 1 million of these deaths – 40 percent of the total – were premature, occurring in people 69 years of age and younger.

According to the American Heart Association, a “safe” level of sodium intake for most people is less than 1,500 mg per day.  How does that break down when you’re looking at descriptions on food packaging?

sodium-free:   Less than 5 milligrams of sodium per serving
Very low sodium:    35 milligrams or less per serving
Low sodium:    140 milligrams or less per serving
Reduced (or less) sodium:    Usual sodium level is reduced by 25 percent per serving
Light (for sodium-reduced products):    If the food is “low calorie,” “low fat” and sodium is reduced by at least 50 percent per serving
Light in sodium:    If sodium is reduced by at least 50 percent per serving

Immediately increase and decrease your salt intake, or prepare to die.

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