Consuming an overabundance of salt in meals is extremely harmful to your health and could lead to childhood obesity. The normal healthy diet should contain about 2,300 mg of salt which translates to around 1 tbsp. The average American eats about twice the recommended amount, leading to many dangers. Hypertension, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and many more problems will occur.
If you eat too much salt, your blood becomes very thick, causing your heart to work harder. If your heart is working too hard, it can become strained. One big health problem associated with heart strain is difficulty breathing. Another big problem is retention of water, meaning that there is an overabundance of salt, which causes dehydration and build up of water in the body.
Here are some tips to avoid the over-consumption of salt:
Stay away from canned foods like soup. If you do buy soup, opt for ones that are low-sodium.
- Take the salt shaker off the table completely to avoid the temptation of adding it to your meals.
- Try to avoid Chinese food, snack food, and anything that doesn’t consist of primarily fresh ingredients.
- Try to cook without salt if possible.
- Avoid frozen, preserved, or fast foods as they are generally loaded with sodium.
We do need salt in our body to function, so it’s actually beneficial for your healthy lifestyle if kept under the recommended amount. Salt is essential in moderation; don’t completely cut it from your diet unless you’re suffering from a salt-related illness or unless your doctor recommended the cut.
Written by Adrienne Pellechia, Nutritionist at Camp Shane weight loss camp for children