Sodium-rich foods in India

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Indians, on average, consume almost 10 grams of salt per day, which is double the World Health Organization (WHO)’s recommendation of a maximum of five grams each day. Increased sodium intake can increase blood pressure, and high blood pressure is a considerable risk aspect for heart condition and stroke.

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death in India, with high blood pressure responsible for almost one-quarter of the 2.3 million CVD-related deaths yearly. That is why several heart hospitals in India recommend reducing sodium consumption. Sodium (an electrolyte) is a mineral that stimulates electrically charged ions. The preponderance of sodium within your body is present inside the veins. 

The veins in your body contain most of the salt in your body. But it’s also in the fluids that surround your cells. These fluids’ balance is preserved by sodium. For muscles and neurons to work correctly, sodium is essential. It controls the equilibrium of bodily fluids as well. Your kidneys help your body regulate its salt levels. They accomplish this by altering the salt content of your urine. The body also eliminates sodium through perspiration (sweat). The human body needs a small amount of sodium to transmit the following: 

  • Nerve impulses
  • Contract and relaxes muscles
  • Keep the proper ratio of water and minerals 

We require 500 mg of sodium daily for these essential processes.

However, consuming too much sodium can cause the following: 

  • High blood pressure 
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke

Additionally, it may result in calcium losses, some of which may come from the bone. The body cannot function without it.

Sodium Natural Foods In India

1. Fruits

Fruits often have little sodium. Natural sodium levels range from 1 to 8 mg per 100 grams in the following: 

  • Apples
  • Guavas
  • Avocados
  • Papayas
  • Mangoes
  • Carambolas
  • Pineapples
  • Melons
  • Pears

Bananas, on the other hand, have little salt. 100 g of bananas have 1 mg of sodium in them. They are therefore excellent for a diet reduced in salt. Additionally, fresh, unpeeled cucumbers have a low salt content. For instance, fresh cucumbers have less than 2 mg of sodium per 100g. It makes up about 0.1 percent of the daily limit.

2. Veggies

Vegetables typically have low salt levels. In terms of veggies, the following are high in salt: 

  • Celery 
  • Spinach 
  • Carrots 
  • Beets  

Salt is included in tomatoes in minimal concentrations. Each 100 g serving of fresh, raw tomatoes contains 5 mg of salt. Additionally, broccoli contains salt; still, its benefit is not great. For instance, 100 g of broccoli has 36 mg of sodium.

3. Dairy items

Milk naturally contains tiny amounts of sodium, an element that occurs in trace amounts. Milk has about 45 mg of salt per 100 g. It represents less than 2% of the sodium-recommended daily intake (RDI). Also, yogurt often has low sodium levels. A 100 g serving of plain and unflavored yogurt has 36 mg of salt. However, certain flavored yogurts have more sodium because they contain salt for taste.

4. Seafood

A fantastic addition to a heart-healthy diet is seafood. When prepared healthfully, seafood may help lower cholesterol and improve heart health. However, wisely picking your seafood is crucial because substitutes like shellfish and canned tuna fish are very salty. For instance, some frozen shrimp and canned tuna have a serving size of more than 400 mg of salt. The best seafood alternatives include

  • Fresh haddock 
  • Salmon 
  • Halibut
  • Tuna

5. Drinks

Replace your electrolytes by drinking Gatorade or Powerade. These electrolyte-rich drinks help restore any sodium lost through sweat. Additionally, some clear broths or soups could enhance your salt and moisture intake.

Other kinds of food high in sodium

  • Canned Veggies: Vegetables can have a lot of salt in them. Although briefly draining and washing canned vegetables can dramatically reduce their salt content by 9–23%. It would help if you, therefore, chose to consume fresh vegetables. If you do use canned vegetables, make sure to rinse them thoroughly.
  • Pizzas & Sandwiches: Popular fast foods include pizza and sandwiches. However, a lot of salt is used in their preparation and cooking. They are consequently high-sodium foods. They are therefore typically unhealthy to ingest. For instance, a 100 g slice of store-bought pizza has more than 700 mg of sodium. Similar amounts of salt are present in sandwiches. A 6-inch sandwich may contain up to 1000 milligrams of sodium, or over half the recommended daily intake.
  • Soup: Soups canned, packaged, quick, or prepared in restaurants frequently have a high salt level. For instance, a 100g serving of the soup has 250 mg of sodium. It represents around 15% of the daily value.

Benefits

Sodium aids in water retention. That’s beneficial in moderation since it keeps your blood pressure elevated and within a healthy level. Additionally, it aids in maintaining the extracellular fluid, which is essential to your cells’ ability to function. Your body does require a tiny quantity of salt to work effectively. Trim levels of sodium also aid in the communication between your nerve cells. Therefore sodium is necessary for brain function.

Risks

It’s crucial to have a healthy salt intake. Risks associated with sodium typically come from either consuming too little or too much. Both are dangerous. A vital nutrient is a sodium. The body cannot function without it. However, too much salt might interfere with the body’s normal processes. Having a balanced salt intake is so crucial. Risks associated with sodium typically come from either consuming too little or too much. Both carry similar risks.

Low sodium (Hyponatremia)

According to studies, limiting salt intake can have adverse health effects. According to a study, less salt consumed daily increases heart disease risk. Reduced salt consumption may potentially raise the risk of death or hospitalization. Hyponatremia, metabolic syndrome, and increased LDL and triglycerides can all be caused by a low salt intake. 

Some symptoms include:

  • Changes in personality
  • Exhaustion 
  • Confusion

Severe hyponatremia can also cause: 

  • Fatalities
  • Paralysis
  • Convulsions

A lack of salt consumption also contributes to several health issues. For instance, research indicates that insulin resistance and low salt levels are related. For those who have diabetes or prediabetes, it is particularly problematic.

High Sodium (Hypernatremia)

A small amount of sodium is necessary for our bodies to function normally. But excessive salt consumption raises blood pressure, a significant risk factor for heart disease and stroke. As a result of hypernatremia, you will feel highly thirsty and dehydrated. 

Symptoms include 

  • Lethargy
  • A feeling of extreme tiredness 
  • A lack of vitality
  • Confusion
  • Also possible are muscle twitching and spasms. 

Because sodium is essential to muscles and neurons, this is the case. Sodium increases blood pressure and stresses the heart because it holds additional fluid. As a result, consuming too much salt in the diet increases the risk of developing the following:

  • Kidney disease 
  • Osteoporosis 
  • Stomach cancer
  • Stroke
Advantages Disadvantages
Regulates fluid: Sodium is necessary for the fluid pumping into the body cells. Sodium aids in the facilitation of fluid flow through porous membranes to places with high salt content. Excessive intake: Consuming too much sodium can raise blood pressure and expand blood vessels.
Ion balance: Sodium and bicarbonate contribute to the proper balance of positively and negatively charged ions in the body. Fluid build-up: Consuming large amounts of salt may result in dangerous fluid build-up in people who already have the following: 

  • Congestive heart failure 
  • Kidney illness
  • Liver cirrhosis
Prevents water loss: The problem of sunstroke is brought on by the body’s loss of salt and water. Memory loss and other problems: An extreme salt diet can also cause memory problems. Sodium can cause hypertension and stomach cancer even though it is a necessary ingredient in a balanced diet.

Can those who have diabetes consume sodium?

While sodium does not directly cause diabetes, it can substantially affect a person’s health if they already have the condition or are at risk for it. Whether they have diabetes or not, people should keep their intake to no more than 2300 mg daily. People with diabetes should consume the same amount of sodium as the general population.

Summary

Many people take much more sodium than the recommended 2,300 mg per day. Additionally, as you age, you have a higher probability of developing salt-sensitive hypertension. To limit your intake of salt in your diet, it is, therefore, preferable to stay away from processed, packaged, and restaurant foods. They frequently have hidden sodium.

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