We will all agree to the fact that we cannot do without Salt in our food. It is indeed one of the most important ingredients that go into our food. You will seldom eat the food cooked without salt. What is this salt that has made us so dependent on it? Most of us know what salt is but I am sure not all of us know there are some interesting facts about Salt that I would like to share with you.
Salt is made from a naturally occurring mineral element called Sodium and is a major ingredient worldwide. Much of the sodium we use is in the form of sodium chloride also know to us as common table salt.
Here is a list of some interesting facts about Salt
- Widely used Additive: Salt is one of the first food additive and seasoning used by man for taste and also flavours. Today, it is one of the most widely used additives and is second only to sugar in the amount added to food.
- Consumption of too much salt is bad: Though salt is necessary for human life, over-consumption contributes to heart diseases and other problems such as high blood pressure and hypertension and consuming fewer quantity results in hypotension. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart diseases, stroke and kidney disease. A high sodium diet or low sodium diet alone, however, does not cause variation in blood pressure. A combination of factors is involved, including family history of overweight, race, and physical fitness and smoking also contribute.
- How much salt should you have: The amount of sodium a person need varies? Under normal conditions, a person needs as little as 2500 milligrams of sodium or the amount of sodium in half teaspoon of salt.
- Replenishing Salts: In conditions such as excessive sweating (during workouts or playing a sport or trekking), diarrhoea and vomiting, sodium is lost, so the need increases. Any increased need for sodium can easily be met by diet alone since sodium content of the average diet is already greater than the amount normally required for maintenance.
Sodium mainly comes from four sources.
- Table salt and another seasoning: Sodium is often added to foods during preparation in the form of table salt, monosodium glutamate, sea salt, black salt, rock salt etc. One level teaspoon of salt contains about 200mg of sodium.
- Processed foods: Salt and Sodium containing additives are added to foods that are processed (ready to eat snacks like chips, salted nuts etc.) and sodium-containing additives play an essential role in the preservation of the food. E.g. Pickles, sauce and ketchup etc.
- Foods that naturally contain sodium: All foods that come from animals contain sodium naturally. Most fresh fruits and vegetables also contain some sodium but in smaller amounts.
- Medicines: Some over-the-counter drugs and medications contain sodium. Experts believe that, though cutting down on salt may not prevent high blood pressure; it may lower blood pressure for people who are considered to be “salt sensitive”. Often a low salt diet, combined with weight loss, medication or some other course of action, controls high blood pressure effectively.
Salt is tasty and an important ingredient in our daily cooking. Add them in limited quantity to stay healthy. Add rock salt to keep blood pressure at bay.