Salt in Diet
Years ago a cardiologist told me that severely restricting salt in your diet was a bit of waste of time and had very little impact on health or blood pressure. Recently I read research from the US that supports that view – albeit those who went with the original limits for salt restriction remain unconvinced – read the article here if interested and make up your mind. For full article click here
The amount of salt in your diet in the US is 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day, or a little more than half a teaspoon of salt, eaten to protect against heart attacks and strokes in people at risk, including anyone older than 50, blacks and people with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.
In the UK the recommended levels of salt for adults advised by the NHS Choices website is limited to no more than 6g of salt a day – that’s around one full teaspoon. Children should eat less. Shoppers should consider the amount of salt already in food and not add any more, citing the following foods high in salt:
These foods include:
- bread products such as crumpets, bagels and ciabatta
- pasta sauces
- ready meals
- tomato ketchup, mayonnaise and other sauces
- breakfast cereals
Worryingly the report goes on to point out that there are physiological consequences of consuming too little salt and that as sodium levels plunge, triglyceride levels increase insulin resistance increases and the activity of the sympathetic nervous system increases. Each of these factors can increase the risk of heart disease.
So the USA plans to review the salt levels after extensive research and expert opinion – with other groups challenging the report findings believing the method of the report flawed. Have a look yourself at the article and debate.
And me ‘Salt on your chips Madam? Yes please, just a little’
See also other articles on diet and health and Type 2 diabetes.