The problem with excessive salt consumption is the risk of hypertension — abnormally high blood pressure that stresses the heart and surrounding blood vessels, ramping up your risk of stroke and heart failure. To rub salt into the wound, health experts link hypertension to obesity and type 2 diabetes. Excess salt also prompts the body to retain fluid, as it needs water to flush out the salt. This can be problematic for people with heart, renal and liver issues. People who suffer from bloating can ease their fluid retention by following a low-sodium diet.
People have used salt to preserve food for centuries. Although wenow have modern technology to keep our food from spoiling, ourenthusiasm for enhancing food with salt is, well, hard to shake. In fact, we’ve become so used to salt-enhanced flavours that we often find that low-sodium meals taste bland. As a result, we’re constantly reaching for the salt shaker and salty condiments to intensify the flavour of our food, often before we’ve even tasted it! Fortunately, we can retrain our taste buds, which is great news for our health. The strength of salt can dull our awareness of other taste sensations, so as we become accustomed to eating less salt, our taste buds become more sensitive to a wide range of subtle flavours. Want more good news? Your taste buds take only a short time to adjust to unsalted foods. Try
gradually decreasing your salt consumption over two to three weeks. You’ll soon find that foods you previously enjoyed.
The National Heart Foundationsuggests a daily target of fewer than 6g (or 2300mg) of sodium, which is equivalent to roughly one and a half teaspoons of salt. Remember: Most of the salt we eat is hiding in processed foods. (Even bread is high in added salt, as it helps bread rise.) And that leaves us no wiggle room to be sprinkling our food with extra salt!