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Hidden Salt - Foods You Didn't Know It Contain Salt

Updated on August 5, 2015
Salt is important as long as we keep it under the recommended daily dose
Salt is important as long as we keep it under the recommended daily dose | Source

Importance Of Salt

The human body needs salt in order to help the body assimilate nutrients through the small intestine, helps regulate blood pressure, helps the natural contraction of muscles, when used for bathe helps treat rheumatism, relieves cystitis symptoms, adding a little in the water you put in a glass to drink it helps you fight constipation, lacking appetite and bloating.

Salt is important for the human body since it can be produce by it and we need to take it from external sources, but we need to be careful not to exceed the limit our body needs.

As you see, salt can have many good effects over the human body, but just as well, consumed in high quantities can do so much damage like raising blood pressure, stomach cancer, create a path for heart diseases, 15% off all the deaths that happened in 2010 resulted from heart attacks have been related to consumption of high levels of salt, osteoporosis, and many others.

Tomatoes, cucumbers and canned soups are all sources of salt even if we didn't know they were
Tomatoes, cucumbers and canned soups are all sources of salt even if we didn't know they were | Source
Salt deprivation activates the same brain area as in the case of drug addicts
Salt deprivation activates the same brain area as in the case of drug addicts | Source

Hidden Sources Of Salt

An average adult should consume no more than six grams of salt per day that is around one teaspoon, which is a lot in my opinion. The problem appears when people think of only the salt they add to the food and they think they haven't reached the daily limit when in fact they've passed way by it, and, as I said, a teaspoon is already a lot of salt.

You can find salt in almost every existing food, natural or processed. Tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, potatoes, asparagus, okra, peas, mushrooms, spinach, beans, bananas, peaches, papaya, prunes, eggs, milk, meat, these and many others contain sodium in them. When we add more salt while cooking them or eating them raw we only exceed the daily recommended dose.

All the meat both from the store is injected with a mixture of water and salt to increase it's shelf life and to give it a more bright color which makes it look really fresh. That solution bursts through the meat when you are cooking it and covers it and if you add more salt to your steak you will only make it even saltier.

Cold cuts, fresh meat, processed meat and meals, pre-packaged meals, fresh and toasted bread, cans, cereals, all types of cheese are heavily packed with salt, soups, pastas, snacks and chips, fast food products (where just one sandwich can have 1000 mg of sodium or more, adding fries and a sauce to the menu will make you easily exceed the daily recommended amount), bagels, store bought sauces, ketchup, mayonnaise and practically everything you want to buy from the store contains salt.

Back when there were no refrigerators and later when soldiers needed food to last for a long time, people used to preserve their foods, like meat, fish, cheese, vegetables and so on, by salting them heavily. They have discovered that this keeps the food from going bad and it can even last for years. The same happens today, to keep a long self live and keep the product looking good, processors use salt in high quantities alongside chemicals.

Read the label when you buy a product, see how much salt it contains and keep in mind that the percentage is per 100 grams, not the whole product. Remember that an adult needs no more than six grams of salt daily and calculate how much you eat in one day from all your foods combined.

The label sometimes specifies the quantity of sodium, and you need to transform that into salt by multiplying that amount with 2.5.

Using condiments when cooking will help you add less salt
Using condiments when cooking will help you add less salt | Source

Change Your Salt Habits

You can give up using so much salt in your food. You need to start by cutting salt completely and even if it will seem for a while that you are eating hospital food with no taste in a short time your taste buds will be reprogrammed and you will start perceiving salt differently than before.

Salt is a drug, and in people used to consume huge quantities daily, sometimes without even knowing, cut it back from their diet will sometimes produce the same effects as to an addict. Studies showed that when a salt addict is deprived from it activates the same brain area as it does in people addicted to opium and cocaine. I am sure you can start right now to make an idea about how harmful salt can be.

Switch from highly processed salt, the fine and white one, to coarse salt, which is not as good looking as the fine one, but it is 100 times better. When salt is processed to become that white and fine it is stripped from minerals and nutrients, but the coarse salt keeps all of them and so it enriches your diet.

Also, processors use two anti-caking in order to keep the salt from hardening and turning into a block, Sodium Ferrocyanide (E535) and Potassium Ferrocyanide (E536), which heated above 80 degrees Celsius they break down and turn into cyanide. That happens very easily when we cook the food, considering that a boiling soup, stew, or any other cooked food passes way over 80 degrees.

Use condiments and cut back on salt. Dill is naturally salted so you can add that to you salads, especially if you are making a cabbage salad with cucumbers. Also, stay away from any kind of store bought sauce as they are not only filled with salt but also with a lot of chemicals. Their label looks like the periodic table we've learned about in school.

Pay attention to products who claim to be low in sodium (or salt), read the label and see exactly how much they have in because if the original product is packed with salt this "low salt" version might just mean they've shaded a little bit of salt and still make no difference for someone who should be in a low salt diet.

Did you know salt can be so harmful?

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