Sodium is an essential mineral that supports various key bodily functions. It is a natural component of many foods, including vegetables and eggs, and makes up a sizeable portion of the table salt we use every day. Despite being vital to health, there may be times when you need to limit your intake of salt in your diet due to a medical issue. This post covers the Benefits of a Low Sodium Diet, as well as the reasons why some people must consume low-sodium foods.
What is a Low Sodium Diet?
The essential mineral sodium supports a number of important bodily functions, including fluid balance, cellular activity, electrolyte levels, and blood pressure regulation. Since this mineral is necessary for life and affects the concentration (osmolarity) of physiological fluids, our kidneys closely regulate its levels.
While certain foods contain much less sodium than others, the majority of what we eat does. Fresh fruit and other tree meals, such as meat and dairy, often have lower salt content than animal-based meals. The highest sodium amounts can be found in processed and packaged foods like chips, frozen meals, and fast food since salt is sometimes added during processing to enhance flavor.
When seasoning and cooking food, salt greatly increases the amount of sodium consumed. A low-sodium diet must strictly forbid foods and beverages high in sodium. Low-sodium diets are frequently recommended by medical practitioners to treat conditions like high blood pressure or coronary disease.
Although there are certain exceptions, the average person’s daily sodium intake is capped at no more than a few grams (2,000–3,000 mg). One teaspoon of salt has 2,300 mg of sodium as a point of reference. Items packed with sodium must be reduced or avoided entirely while following a low-sodium diet in order to keep salt intake below the recommended range.
Benefits of a Low Sodium Diet
Aid in Reducing Cancer Risk
Diets high in salt may increase the risk of developing some malignancies, including stomach cancer. High-salt diets have been linked to increased H. Pylori bacterial growth, increased inflammation, and damage to the mucosal lining of the stomach, all of which may raise the risk of stomach cancer. On the other side, eating a diet high in fresh produce and low in processed foods with high levels of sodium is associated with a lower risk of stomach cancer.
The quality of your diet
The salt content of many unhealthy foods is high. Fast food, frozen food, and packaged goods are all laden with unhealthy fats, calories, and large levels of salt. Consuming these foods frequently may increase the risk of developing diseases like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. A low-sodium diet forbids these high-salt items, which may enhance the nutritional quality of a person’s diet as a whole.
Lowering blood pressure
A low-sodium diet, as previously mentioned, may aid in lowering blood pressure. According to studies, switching to a low-sodium diet can lower blood pressure, especially in those with excessive levels. These improvements can be subtle but important.
According to a study of 34 research, participants with both high and normal blood pressure experienced significant drops in their blood pressure when their salt intake was moderately reduced for four or more weeks.
The average decrease in the systolic and diastolic in participants with high blood pressure was 5.39 mmHg & 2.82 mmHg, respectively. In contrast, persons with normal levels noted a reduction of 1.00 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure and 2.42 mmHg in systolic blood pressure (the highest number of a reading).
The kidneys aid in regulating the body’s salt levels. The body may become too hydrated and sodium-filled if the kidneys are not functioning properly. In addition to causing ankle and under-eye edema, this fluid buildup can cause high blood pressure. The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) advises kidney disease patients to consume less sodium to avoid health issues.
A cardiovascular condition
The World Health Organization (WHO) advises adults to reduce their sodium intake to lessen their risk of cardiovascular illness, including stroke, heart problems, and coronary artery disease. This is because high sodium intake has a negative impact on blood pressure. However, research on the advantages of a low-sodium diet in preventing heart problems from developing or getting worse has yielded conflicting results. dependable source
Keeps the electrolyte balance right
Maintaining electrolyte balance is crucial for maintaining your body’s pH equilibrium as well as making sure your muscles are working properly. And one of this electrolyte’s primary constituents is sodium. Dr. Shalini Garwin Bliss, HOD-Dietician, Columbia Asia Hospital, claims that if you can keep your sodium level stable by consuming moderate amounts of salt, you can prevent bloating, dehydration, and muscle cramps.
Low-sodium diets may help with high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, and general food quality, as was previously indicated. If you consume a low-sodium diet, select fresh meals and stay away from salty ones. However, this diet is unnecessary for the majority of people and too little salt may have negative health implications. But how can one determine what is best? The right response is to consult a specialist.