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27 Nov 2022, Edition - 2693, Sunday

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Health Matters

How Much Salt Do You Need In A Day?



One of the most important ingredients that can completely transform a dish is salt; however, it is also known that sodium present in the common salt we consume on a daily basis is unhealthy. The reason is that sodium is believed to spike blood pressure levels, a common risk factor for heart diseases and stroke. According to National Centre for Biotechnology Information, high blood pressure is ranked as the third most important risk factor; about 33 percent urban and 25 percent rural Indians are hypertensive. Considering the health hazards caused by excessive consumption of salt has brought us to this question – how much salt do we really need in a day to be healthy?

What Role Does Salt Play In Our Body?

While sodium in salt is maligned as a cause of high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases, it also plays important roles in the body. Sodium is dissolved in the blood in order to maintain blood pressure level. It attracts and holds water further maintaining the liquid portion of the blood. Sodium also acts as an electrolyte that is crucial for your cells in order to regulate various bodily functions that include hydration, blood pressure and proper functioning of the nerves and muscles.

What Happens When You Over-Consume Salt?

While salt may have a few positive roles to play in our body, there are also chances that excessive consumption maybe ruining your health. Excessive consumption of sodium may mean you may go through symptoms like:

1. Your brain may feel groggy

2. Dehydration

3. Water retention

4. Kidney stones

5. Stomach ulcers

6. High blood pressure or hypertension

7. Bloating

8. Damaged arteries

How Much Salt Do You Really Need In A Day To Keep Healthy?

According to Priya Bharma, chief nutritionist at the Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, “It is recommended to intake 2400 milligram salt in a day. In case a person is deficient, then it is recommended to consume additional 1.5 milligram in a day. If not taken in proportionate quantity, it can lead to conditions like cramps in muscle, vomiting, dizziness, nausea, etc. Also, it is highly recommended not to consume more than five grams of salt each day.”

Your body regulates sodium levels in order to prevent the levels from getting too high or too low. Kidneys play a key role for controlling sodium concentrations. Kidneys retain sodium when the levels are alarmingly low and excrete it when the levels are exceptionally high. People with high blood pressure and kidney problems must be wary of their salt consumption, and ensure a healthy body function.

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