Posts Tagged ‘salt’

Flavoring food with herbs helps lower salt intake

Friday, March 21st, 2014

crop1_240x240_21mar14A new study has found that teaching people how to flavor food with and herbs is considerably more effective at lowering salt intake.

According to the research, people who had cooking lessons had less salt in their diet and learning to use seasonings is the first step to dietary change.

Cheryl Anderson, lead author of the study and associate professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of California San Diego, said that helping people cook differently gave them control over their diet.

Anderson added that salt is abundant in the food supply and the average sodium level for Americans is very high and the use of a behavioral intervention where people learn how to use spices and herbs and less salt in their daily lives can help regulate that.

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Cutting down on salt intake could save millions of lives

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

As many as a half a million American lives could be saved if they all ate a fraction of a teaspoon of salt less every day, according to a new study.

The study found that a gradual decrease in salt consumption over a decade — ending in a 40 percent reduction — would prolong the lives of between 280,000 and 500,000 people by decreasing the risk of hypertension and heart disease.

“It certainly confirms the enormous potential value in reducing the consumption of sodium,” Michael Jacobson, executive director of the consumer watchdog Center for Science in the Public Interest said.

The study is novel in that three groups of researchers using different methods all came to the same conclusion, he said.

Americans ingest, on average, 3,600 milligrams of sodium daily, compared with 1,500 recommended by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Watch out for the hidden sources of salt

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Salt or sodium chloride is what we cannot do without in cooking. Sodium is an essential element the body needs for its fluid balance. Yet in excess, it can also upset that balance. And if you have been advised to cut down on salt or sodium for health reasons like high blood pressure, kidney or heart conditions, then it becomes a culinary challenge to whoever is cooking your food at home to reduce salt and still make the food palatable.

Under normal conditions our body requires only half a gram of sodium. But people lavish salt in foods to the point that they end up eating twenty or more times than required. Though salt requirements depend on outside weather conditions, and how much we lose through sweating, a healthy quantity is 6 grams or one teaspoon of salt. Salt or sodium chloride is only 40 % sodium. So 6 grams of salt furnishes 2400mg sodium.

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Health tip of the day

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

If your blood pressure is high, keep your sodium intake under 1,500mg a day

Sea salt no healthier than table salt

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Sea salt, which can be 19 times as expensive as its humbler cousin table salt, is no healthier because both kinds are overwhelmingly sodium chloride and is just a costlier way to damage your health, say researchers.

Kay Dilley, nutritionist at Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH), said: `Sea salt costs up to 19 times more than table salt. For the 55 percent of you who buy sea salt, it might be worth switching to table salt to cut your grocery bills.`

DASH diet to control blood pressure

Sea salt, routinely endorsed by celebrity chefs because of its `natural and mineral content`, is a more costly way of damaging your health, says a study commissioned by CASH, reported the Daily Mail.

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Limiting salt intake checks BP, protects heart

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Got a health query? Ask our experts

A frantic lifestyle, long working hours and even longer distances to commute in metros and cities make ready-to-eat packaged food an attractive option, which requires only a few minutes of warming.

But the flip side is that their salt content is on the higher side. So regular dependence on fast food or packaged foods promotes greater salt intake, which accumulates in the body and poses serious health risks.

These risks are rising blood pressure (BP) levels, which could act as trigger for cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks, besides cerebral strokes, as well as kidney failure, B. Sesikeran, director of Hyderabad-based National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) said.

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Health news of the day: Salt is addictive as cigarettes

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Cravings for salt form `an ancient instinct` deeply embedded in the brain. That is why many find it hard to cut back on salt, despite warnings about dangers to blood pressure and heart health.

Read the full story here

Health tip of the day

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Seaweed granules can be used to replace salt in baked goods as their sodium level is just 3.5 per cent compared with the 40 per cent in salt.

Read the full story here

Health news of the day: Eating less salt won’t prevent heart attack

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Patients with heart disease who cut back on salt suddenly are at higher risk of death – possibly because the change in diet is a shock to the body.

Read the full story here

DASH diet to control blood pressure

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

DASH stands for “dietary approaches to stop hypertension”.  Diet plays a major part in controlling high blood pressure and as an adjunct to medications itself. Antihypertensive become more effective when taken along with a low salt high fiber diet.

Previously, importance was given only to reducing salt intake. But the DASH studies suggested that not only reducing salt, but including foods high in potassium, calcium and magnesium will help reduce high blood pressure.

Accordingly this is what the DASH diet recommends (for a 2000kcal/day diet)

  • Reduce sodium chloride or table salt to 6gms a day. This is equal to a teaspoon of salt added in daily cooking. This also means you have to avoid salted snacks, pickles, canned/processed/packeted/ready to eat foods that contain salt as preservative, bakery items, pappads, fast foods. Since restaurant foods are generally very salty it makes sense to not eat out frequently.
  • The higher the potassium intake, lower the blood pressure. This is where vegans score over non vegetarians. Because all fruits and vegetables without exception contain potassium. You need to eat at least 2 or 3 cups of vegetables cooked or raw and 4 to 5 fruits in a day to get the benefit of this diet. Cereals and legumes, milk/yoghurt also contain potassium.
  • Good intake of magnesium helps keep hypertension under check.  This is easily got in Indian diets from eating whole grains and products, and seeds and nuts.  Tofu, fat free milk, green vegetables and legumes also contain magnesium.  Unsalted nuts in small amounts, up to 2 tablespoon full, make a good snack.

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