Bacons and sausages - common breakfast menu for all. Probably you had these for breakfast and even I did have bacons and sausages in the morning. People consume these foods thoughtlessly just because everyone does so. However, you should be at least reluctant before squashing those pieces of meat into your mouth. This is because processed meat has excessive amount of sodium in it. It is important to have less sodium than the amount contained in your brunch.
Why shouldn’t I take in an excessive amount of sodium?
- Make you thirsty for high calorie drinks
Graham Macgregor, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at St, George’s, University of London discovered that children with less intake of salt tended to drink less sugary soft drinks.
- Weakens your bones
High-sodium diet increases urinary calcium losses. The body needs certain levels of calcium. Therefore, if the calcium is lost with urine, bones give their calcium to other parts of the body which then causes in bone weakening.
- Increases the blood pressure
Sodium regulates fluid balance. So more salt means higher blood pressures.
Is having no sodium good for health?
Definitely no. If water and salt are out of balance, hyponatremia occurs. Normal sodium level is between 135 and 145 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L) and hyponatremia happens when there is less than 135 mEq/L of sodium in your blood. Symptoms of low blood sodium varies individually. Gradual fall of salt levels may not involve any symptoms. On the contrary, abrupt decrease of levels cause emergent symptoms such as consciousness, seizures, and coma.
How much sodium should I intake per day?
According to the American Heart Association, the ideal maximum intake is 1,500 milligrams (mgs) per day for adults and more than 2,300 mgs is not recommended.
Then what am I supposed to do?
You should have a low sodium diet as dishes with much salt replaces nutritious food. There are some examples:
- Choose unprocessed or barely processed foods.
Canned, processed, and frozen foods are usually contain a lot of salt.
- Read labels.
When purchasing food, try to choose ones with less salts.
- Train your taste buds.
Become used to food with less sodium. Slowly you will look for dishes with lower salt.
- Drinking more water.
Drinking more water will get rid of sodium temporarily. However, if you intake extreme amount of salt regularly, drinking more water will worsen the problem. Excess fluid in your body increases the blood volume which raises the blood pressure.
Having low amount of sodium is beneficial to our health but do not stay sodium free if you do not want to be unconscious for days in hospital.