Salt is essential to the survival of every living creature on Earth. It is an important mineral that helps regulate the balance of water in the body, and we are composed primarily of water. We all know that table salt is sodium chloride, but there are other forms of salt too, most of them in the form of some kind of sodium.
Salt has been used as a preservative and to flavor food for thousands of years. Salty is one of the four flavors along with sweet, sour and bitter. Salt was even used as currency at one time. Salt is mentioned some forty-one times in the King James Bible and plays an important role in many other world religions, including Hinduism and various Pagan religions. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt
Salt is important to your overall good health, but we consume far too much of it. Taking in too much salt can cause your blood pressure to rise to dangerous levels. Most of us get many times more than our daily allowance of salt every day. Most of us need to cut back on our consumption of salt. And just leaving it off of the table won’t do the trick. Salt, in the form of sodium, is hidden in many foods, especially those that have been processed.
I have high blood pressure and I have to watch my intake of salt and sodium carefully. You’d be surprised which foods have the most salt. An average can of Campbell’s vegetable soup has almost 1,000 mg. of sodium. The total salt intake for a normal person should be about 1,400 mg. A person with high blood pressure should limit his or her intake to 700 mg. or less. So one can of soup would just about be it for the day. Biscuits and bread are high in sodium because of the baking soda, and just about any frozen dinner has loads of it.
And now a shocking report in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, (http://www.stltoday.com/blogzone/talk-of-the-day/talk-of-the-day/2009/05/its-the-salt-of-the-earth-but-do-you-watch-how-much-is-too-much/), says that restaurant food is incredibly high in sodium. A Chili’s Buffalo Fajitas is worth about 6, 916 mg. of sodium. That’s right 6, 916 mg. And other chains don’t fare much better.
The best way to avoid all of this salt, (besides not going to restaurants altogether), is to ask that no salt be added to your meal. All restaurants are required by law to have nutrition booklets or signs in the store. The booklets will list the amount of salt as well as other important things like fat content. If your restaurant doesn’t have them, then eat someplace else.
Another thing about salt is that it’s habit forming. The more you consume, the more you want. Ever since I’ve replaced my high salt diet with a low salt one that uses a lot of spice instead of salt, I’ve noticed that I don’t crave it nearly as much anymore, and my blood pressure numbers have dropped considerably.
Amanda St. Amand, St. Louis Post Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com/blogzone/talk-of-the-day/talk-of-the-day/2009/05/its-the-salt-of-the-earth-but-do-you-watch-how-much-is-too-much/