The British Medical Journal conducted a recent study on more than 177,000 people to determine if the amount of salt they consume had any affect on their long term health. The findings were quite sobering with the conclusion that the more salt you consume in your diet the higher your risk of heart disease or stroke.
One of the underlying symptoms that can lead to a stroke or a heart attack is high blood pressure. Sodium or a high salt intake increases your blood pressure which, over time can lead to serious health complications.
The reason why we love salt is because it enhances the flavor of our food. In the past when we ate more organically grown food we just added a dash of salt here and there to improve the taste.
Today, the Western diet includes a lot of processed and packaged food. We eat more pre-cooked meals such as fast foods which have a very high salt content. Snacks such as crisps are already salted even chocolate and candy bars contain salt.
These foods are already high in salt because, not only is sodium a flavor enhancer it is also a food preserver. Hence the term salted fish. In hot climates such as Asia fresh fish would deteriorate very quickly therefore, the fish is dried and then salted to preserve it.
If you are concerned that are you taking too much salt in the food that you eat then, you can easily do something about it. The best thing to do is to go on a low or a no salt diet. That means cutting down the amount of salt you use for cooking, having no salt on the dinner table and staying away from fast food joints.
For this too work you need to stick at this diet for at least 3 weeks or preferably 1 month. The reason for this is because of our dependency on too much salt. Many of us do not realise how dependent we are on salt because it is in most of the foods that we eat each and every day. It will take at least 3 weeks to a month for your body to wean itself off its craving for salt. Instead, find alternatives that can still enhance the flavor of your cooking. Great alternatives are Middle Eastern and Asian herbs and spices.
After a month you will find that you do not have to smother your food with salt anymore.