Do you know people who salt their food without even tasting it? I’m related to a couple and it really annoys me when I’m the chef. Ironically, that was me until water retention during pregnancy broke the habit 32 years ago.
Fresh whole foods don’t naturally have much sodium in them. Salt did play an important part in food preservation before we had home ice boxes and then refrigerators. Unfortunately, we never lost the taste for salt.
Although the dietary recommendation for a health person is 2,000 milligrams of sodium a day most of us get far more. The primary cause is processed and prepared foods. I think they generally contain a lot of salt because it’s a cheap easy way to add flavor and shelf life.
There are dangerous health consequences from eating too many salty foods.
1. Hypertension. Too much salt can result in an increased blood volume which elevates blood pressure. High blood pressure can result in strokes and other cardiovascular conditions. Reducing sodium intake via food can lower blood pressure up to 25%.
2. Osteoporosis. Sodim interferes with the body’s ability to absorb calcium. This can lead to brittle, weak bones and osteoporosis. No wonder I have to take so much calcium supplements to keep it up to the recommended level.
3. Swelling and Dehydration. Whenever I eat salty food (like BBQ meat) the next day I can’t even move my wedding rings due to swollen fingers. Too much sodium in the blood causes the body to hold on to water in an attempt to get it back in balance. This means swelling which in severe cases has its own complications. Ironically, you can also become dehydrated from too much sodium in the blood as the water moves into the tissues.
4. Kidney Disease. Your kidneys work hard trying to keep the blood clean and in balance. Too much sodium makes them work harder than normal and can ultimately cause deterioration. This is especially true for people that already have kidney problems.
These are just four of the consequences from ingesting too much salt. I can tell you that food at first may taste bland. Try to replace salt with other seasonings and herbs. You’ll be amazed at how good food really tastes. Do you salt your food?