Low-sodium diet? Not in hot weather and not for everyone

Salt is a key ingredient in cooking and most of us couldn’t imagine a glass of beer without salted nuts or other salty snacks. The reason is because salt teases our taste buds.

Salted pistachios to beer

Many foods contain salt, and therefore it’s hard to regulate your daily sodium intake. Salt (you should remember its other name from chemistry lessons at school: sodium chloride) is essential for every human and is one of the “building blocks” that promotes a healthy metabolism and controls the body’s water-salt balance.
Our body contains around 0.2 – 0.3 kilograms of sodium chloride on average. In order not to disrupt the balance, an adult should take 5-7 grams of salt per day during the cold season and 10-15 grams in the warmer seasons. The daily sodium chloride recommendation for children is even less: 1-2 grams for babies and 8-10 grams for teenagers.

Excessive salt intake can have negative consequences for the whole body. For example, changes in blood viscosity, heartburn, hypertension, and the formation of stones. A sodium chloride imbalance can lead to liver, heart, and kidney disorders, cardiospasms, edema and many other pathologies. Evidently, we can’t do without salt, but too much salt is bad for us.

Eating salt in moderation

Our meals are loaded with salt. Statistics show that approximately 88 percent of people in the world don’t follow a healthy diet, and their salt intake is 4-5 times higher than the recommended amount. Why does this happen and what foods contain a lot of salt?

    • Dark (rye) bread contains 0.5 grams of salt in 100 grams of bread, white (wheat) bread contains significantly less salt (around 0.3 grams).
    • Cheese. In 100 grams of any cheese, there’s 1.5-2 grams of salt.
    • Nuts. In 100 grams of nuts, there’s 1.5 grams of salt. The largest amount of salt is found in “beer nuts”.

Sauces

  • Soy. Does rich soy sauce come to mind? Also, pay attention to soy-containing foods such as sausages and sauces.
  • Cornflakes. Manufacturers typically add 0.7 grams of salt to every 100 grams of cornflakes.
  • Pre-made and preserved food. These foods often require a lot of salt. Sal-cured fish and marinade sauces by definition contain a large amount of salt.
  • Sauces. Homemade and ready-made sauces are typically rich in salt.
  • Olives. Olives are usually preserved in salt.

When we eat each day we rarely think about how much salt we’re consuming. If medical tests show an increased level of sodium chloride in your bloodstream, doctors highly recommend you follow a low-sodium diet.

Can diet treat the problem?

Of course, a healthy diet is not a magic pill, but a low-sodium diet can be effective for the following conditions:

  • heart and circulation disorders;Salt in moderation
  • vascular diseases;
  • fluid-filled abdomen;
  • obesity;
  • pancreatic dysfunction;
  • ulcers;
  • hyperacidity;
  • joint diseases;
  • allergy;
  • arterial hypertension.

Only a qualified specialist can recommended following a low-sodium diet to patients with these conditions. Before changing their diet, patients should have a medical examination so that the doctor can recommend an individual low-sodium diet.

People often go on such a diet to lose weight quickly. It’s possible to lose weight by following such diets as the Kempner diet, Malisheva, Orbakaite, Japanese and Chinese low-sodium diets. However, people sometimes lose weight by having fluids removed from their bodies, and this can be dangerous.

Reasons to avoid risk

  • Increased physical activity. We sweat a lot when train and can lose up to 40 grams of salt at a time.
  • Heavy labor. Doctors recommend drinking more mineral water and increasing your consumption of salty products such as cheese, corn, soy products, and bread. It can help to restore your water-salt balance.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women. During lactation, a woman’s body uses a lot of sodium, and a deficiency can cause problems for an otherwise healthy mom and baby. Only in certain cases will doctors recommend that you lower your salt intake and follow a low-sodium diet (e.g. kidney disorders, edema, blood pressure disorders). Consult your doctor before changing your diet.
  • Hot climate. This is, mostly, because of heavy sweating. Low-sodium diets are good for people living in regions with a hot or tropical climate.

Listen to specialists

Doctors insist on following a low-sodium diet if you have kidney, liver, heart, blood pressure, or pancreatic disorders, edema, or obesity. Only a qualified specialist can recommend low-sodium diet for patients with such diseases. Before a diet, patients should have an medical examination so that a doctor could choose the most effective low-sodium diet.

When you are on a diet, you should be very attentive to your health. A diet can cause:

Listen to specialists

  • sudden decrease in blood pressure or muscle tone;
  • nausea and dizziness;
  • upset stomach;
  • weakness, apathy;
  • syncope;
  • loss of appetite;
  • general discomfort.

Rules of dieting

Your diet should include laminaria, a locally grown garlic and onion, or citrus fruits. Add spices such as cumin, turmeric and oregano to your meals. You should:

  • Eat small portions 4-5 times a day;
  • Steam or boil vegetables and meat without salt;
  • Avoid roasted, fatty meals, smoked foods and pickles;
  • Have supper 2-3 hours before you go to bed;
  • Don’t follow this diet for long. Typically, 1-2 weeks is enough;
  • Regularly consult your doctor.

A low-sodium diet is effective and recommended if there are certain dysfunctions in your body, as it helps to control the functions of various organs. Specialists recommend controlling your daily salt intake.

There are many different types of low-sodium diet and many of them are short-term. Unfortunately, strict diets can harm your body over a short period and you should adopt such a diet only under the supervision of your doctor.