New Delhi,UPDATED: Aug 10, 2023 19:07 IST
The World Health Organisation (WHO) released its first report on sodium intake reduction, declaring that excessive sodium is one of the main culprits of death and diseases globally.
Sodium, known to be one of the most essential nutrients for the body, could increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and premature death if consumed in excess.
Salt, in particular, contains high amounts of sodium, which is why a low consumption of it could be beneficial for the body.
Dr Brajesh Kumar Kunwar, Director & Head Department of Cardiac Science, Senior Interventional Cardiologist, Medicover Hospitals, Navi Mumbai, told IndiaToday.in that excessive salt can elevate blood pressure, which in turn increases the risk of cardiovascular ailments like heart attacks and strokes.
- Eliminate processed, canned, and unhealthy junk food that contains high levels of salt from your diet. Instead, opt for fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Remove salt and salty sauces from the dining table to discourage additional salt usage among family members.
- Enhance the flavour of your favourite dishes by utilizing herbs, spices, garlic, and citrus instead of relying on salt during cooking.
- Everyone should refrain from indulging in salty snacks such as potato chips, French fries, and crackers.
- Prioritise reading nutrition labels when purchasing packaged foods to ensure awareness about the sodium content present in them.
The best way to lower your salt intake, Dr Kaushal Chhatrapati, Senior Interventional Cardiologist, told IndiaToday.in that following the DASH diet could be the way to go.
“The National Heart Brain And Lung Institute has devised a diet that is ideal for hypertensive patients. This diet is called the DASH Diet, which is the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension,” Dr Kaushal Chhatrapati said.
The diet focuses on low sodium, high magnesium and potassium and low levels of saturated fats (like butter and ghee). It is rich in vegetables, legumes, fruits, and low-fat milk.
The most important aspect is that the daily sodium consumption is limited to less than 2,300 mg of salt or 1 teaspoon.
Here are easy tips to avoid salt in your diet:
- Lower your consumption of foods like burgers, pizzas, french fries as they contain high amounts of salt
- Avoid packaged foods and pre-cooked ‘microwave dinners.’ These are very high in sodium.
- Avoid condiments like salad dressings and ketchups. These have very high sodium content.
- Avoid putting extra salt in food. Use spices to substitute for a salty taste. Use low-sodium alternatives, where possible.