Myth: Salt is Always Bad for You!
How well do you know about salt?
People often say that, salt is bad for our body because it will cause diseases such as high blood pressure and so on. Yes, consume salt can cause high blood pressure without symptoms. However, this will only happen only when you consume too much of salt.
Salt, which is also known as sodium chloride, NaCl; is made of 40% sodium and 60% chloride. Salt acts as food enhancer to improve the taste of foods and it can also be used as food preservative because bacteria cannot live in the environment with high salt content.
Sodium is an important nutrient as our body needs it to conduct nerve impulses, contract and relax muscles, and maintain the proper balance of water and minerals. It is estimated that our body need about 500 mg of sodium daily to perform these vital functions.
Our body only need a small amount of Sodium to maintain our body. The recommended amount of salt for an adult is less than 5 grams in a day. Do check on the food labels and make sure the sodium content is less than 3 grams per 100 grams whenever you do grocery shopping. Processed food such as fast foods and instant foods are the examples of high salt, high sodium foods. Hence, people with high blood pressure are recommended to go for low salt diet to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Salt is not totally bad for us because our body still need salt to perform vital function. In some health conditions, there is a need to cut back on salt. However, for healthy person feel free to add salt during cooking to improve flavor. Optimal salt intake is the healthiest option for healthy person.
Liow Pui Kee
[BCs (Hons) Nutrition with Wellness Student]
(Love Earth Nutritionist)