How much salt is in your diet?: Generally I... - Healthy Eating

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How much salt is in your diet?

andyswarbs profile image

Generally I don't add salt to my food, either cooking or at eating time. If I have guests then I add some at cooking time. I do this because most people are used to salt. Almost all processed foods contain salt, and some contain a lot. Restaurants generally use salt to enhance food with more concern for profit than health. I remember a headline above Chinese restaurants being ticked off for serving their meals with more than the RDA for salt, and that's just one meal.

I write this post because I think many people only think salt is in a food if they sprinkle it from a salt pot. They don't count how much salt is in cheese or deserts and cakes etc.

10 Replies
Zest profile image

Hi andyswarbs

I try to cook most of my meals from scratch, and I rarely add much salt to the actual cooking of those - so then, for those meals I would tend to add a little salt from the salt-pot to foods such as eggs, and tomatoes.

However, I do occasionally buy tinned soup (which I know is saltier) and also shop-bought bread (even the one freshly made in the local baker tends to use quite a bit of salt - as I can taste it)

Anyway, I try not to add much salt - except when I know I've been sweating a lot - with exercise, or if the weather has been hot, and then I will actually have 'more salt' to compensate for that.

Zest :-)

grace111 profile image
grace111 in reply to Zest

i use a little salt on my porride . im sure we need some for our brain function. im sure you wont cause any harm Zest having a tin of soup now and again. last time i got my blood test my sodium was low and the nurse couldnt understand as i have high blood pressure and iv seldom taken salt out of the pot. i love a bit of salt in my porridge. i also have himalyan salt and thats what i use, sometime i will grind the mill once on a salad more FOR health reasons.

Zest profile image
ZestStar in reply to grace111

Glad you're enjoying that porridge, Grace. I've never tried it with salt - I guess it's a bit like popcorn, some people put salt on that as well, rather than sweet flavourings. :-)

Zest :-)

grace111 profile image
grace111 in reply to Zest

sorry iv not been around much Zest im feeling quite stressed and being very gentle on myself at the minute. love grace xoxo

Zest profile image
ZestStar in reply to grace111

Hi Grace, Please don't apologise, I'm glad to know you're ok, and I'm also very glad to hear you're being gentle and kind to yourself, because that's a great thing to do! I hope you'll enjoy the weekend. It's quite cold though, isn't it... Keep warm and cosy, if you can. :-)

Hope your stress levels reduce, so you can relax and enjoy the weekend.

Zest :-) xxx

Sodium is a critically important micronutrinent, and like most dietary lore the campaign against salt has been driven by politics and superstition rather than actual science. The risk curve is u-shaped, and you would have to eat an absolutely enormous amount of salt to reach the same risk level associated with a LOW salt diet. Google it. It's complicated, and the fact is nobody really knows how it all works:

Meat is a good source of sodium and potassium in the ratio that your body needs it.

TAD, I think it is not so much that salt per se is bad for anyone. Rather I think it, like sugar and oils, when taken in quantity it distorts the taste buds. The result is people cannot resist eating more than is good for them and/or eat the wrong foods.

As you say the body needs salt. Fortunately whole plant foods have enough for a body to live and indeed thrive very happily.

I love the final sentence of the PURE study that you cite, "In contrast, there is a stronger case for increasing the consumption of foods that are rich in potassium (eg, fruits and vegetables) population wide." Almost any study that ends with that kind of statement gets my vote.

Salt is definitely added to mask lack of inherent flavour. Most supermarket veg (and meat) taste of nothing. So people add more salt.

On the other hand, salt seems to be one of those things that's fairly well regulated by appetite. According to that article only 5% of the US population eat enough salt to be (statistically speaking) dangerous; the point being, excessive salt is usually rejected as not tasting very nice. Usually. I'm guessing those 5% are the ones with the highest intake of junk food.

In my view, salt is only “bad” if you have high blood pressure. Both myself and my partner are lucky enough to have low blood pressure, and insufficient salt in your diet, especially following hot sweaty exercise, can make you decidedly faint if you stand up suddenly.

Don’t fall into the trap of generalisation, we are all different.

I add salt to all my vegetables, but I rarely eat crisps or fries or other highly salted processed foods, merely because I don’t like them! Remember too, Salt is an excellent preservative...I do enjoy my bacon!

i have high blood pressure and my reading for sodium was low at my last blood test. my high blood pressure is due to stress and anxiety i'v seldom eaten salt but take some now in my porridge or a quick turn of the salt mill on salad. i use pink hymalyan salt

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