Adding salt to food or meals is an action that many carry out repeatedly to achieve that the final dish has much more flavor. However, this simple gesture added to the amount of sodium that our body acquires from the composition of the food we eat, can have negative effects on the health of our body, and that is why it is always emphasized that one of the keys to a balanced and healthy diet is to moderate the consumption of salt. But do you really know how much salt we should consume per day? Find out in detail in the following article.
Recommended amount of salt per day
To answer the question of how much salt should we consume per day? We must comply with the specific recommendations of the WHO (World Health Organization), which specifies that the maximum amount of salt recommended per day should not exceed 5 grams. This is equivalent to a small tablespoon, that is, the ones we use for coffee. This amount is indicated for completely healthy patients, but those who suffer, for example, from diabetes, kidney problems or high blood pressure, should further reduce the consumption of salt in their diet, not exceeding 4 grams daily.
It is important to take into account, in addition, that in this quantity it not only refers to the table salt that we incorporate into our meals, but also to the part of sodium that we obtain through the composition of the food. That is why when making the purchase, it is important to review the nutritional label and check if that food contributes a lot or a little sodium to the daily total of our diet. And for this, you just have to look at the percentage that is applied to the daily value of sodium, which stands at 2,300 mg. For example:
- If 5% of the daily value or less is indicated in one serving (which would equal 120 mg of sodium), this amount of sodium is considered low.
- If 20% of the daily value or more is indicated in a serving (which would be equivalent to 480 mg of sodium), it is an amount considered high.
Why it is important to moderate the consumption of salt
A diet high in sodium can have very detrimental effects on our health, and is that excessive consumption of salt is one of the main causes of increased blood pressure. And when it reaches high values, which is what is known as hypertension, our heart is forced to work harder and both the blood vessels and other internal organs can end up being damaged, which means that there is a greater risk of cardiovascular diseases. Or kidney and stroke.
That is why it is essential to always follow a balanced diet and modify some of our habits to avoid health problems of this nature, and among them one of the most important is to limit the intake of salt in meals, trying not to exceed the maximum recommended amount that we have indicated in the previous section.
Tips to reduce your daily salt intake
Once you know the amount of salt to be consumed per day, if you want to reduce and control your intake, you can put into practice some of the following tips:
- Do not add salt to food while cooking, you can place the salt shaker on the table so that each diner adds the amount they prefer.
- He prefers fresh rather than processed foods, as the latter contain more sodium.
- Reduce the use of sauces to flavor dishes and replace them with spices or aromatic herbs. These will also add flavor to your food and without the need to add a lot of salt.
- Those that come canned usually contain a lot of sodium, and a trick that will help you eliminate much of it is to rinse them just before cooking or consuming them.