by Ruth Salesa
Probably not, yet they are heavily laced with salt and additives such as nitrates, sodium phosphates, sodium ascorbate, monosodium glutamate and even sodium saccharine as well as other sources of sodium, including leavening agents, baking power, and baking soda.
Foods that dont taste salty can actually contain high amounts of sodium - milk, mayonnaise, and baby food preparation - to mention a few. Dr. Jean Mayer, Tuft Universitys president, points out that infants on bottle milk formula are already consuming generous amount of salt. Mothers milk, by itself, contains about 7 mg. of salt per litre, while processed cows milk contains more than 25 mg. of salt per litre.
The amount of salt needed to sustain a life is of 220 mg. a day, equivalent to one-tenth of a teaspoon. Without this small amount, experts claim one could feel weak and nauseous.
An entirely salt less life will make you wither and finally die. Most people, however, take about 6-10 times more salt than the required amount. The result? Kidney disease, high blood pressure, unexplained itches and allergies or body rashes. It is the kidneys that maintain the normal level of sodium in the body. If there is too much sodium, the kidneys excrete it. Conversely, when the body needs sodium, the kidneys maintain it, and then pump the substance back into the blood. But when the kidneys fail to excrete enough sodium, the retained sodium holds water, raising the volume of blood. When a lot of blood passes through the arteries and veins, it exerts pressure on their walls. The blood pressure then increases, making the heart work harder to pump increased volume of blood. Subsequently, the heart rate rises.
Sodium also increases the amount of water in and around body tissues, resulting in swelling or fluid overload which can cause congestive heart failure. Overindulging in salt can also worsen haemorrhoids and dilate the veins in the anus and elsewhere. Taking too much salt is not advisable for people suffering from headaches and those having premenstrual syndrome.
Here are some ways to reduce salt intake in your diet:
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