Hyposodic diet: how to do it?

Salt naturally present in foods, salt added by the food industry and, finally, salt added by us on the final dish: definitely too much! According to the LARN (Reference intake levels of nutrients and energy for the Italian population) and theO.M.S. (World Health Organization) the adequate sodium intake for adults of both sexes is set at 3.75 grams of salt per day, corresponding to 1.5 grams of sodium (Na) per day. But why is salt bad for you and what are the techniques to reduce its presence in the diet?

What is Salt?

The salt that can be found in all cuisines is a mixture of 99.8-99.9% sodium chloride and very few other impurities, such as other sea salts or very small clay residues. Hence, other salt is not the union of atoms chlorine and sodium which form a crystalline and three-dimensional lattice that gives life to the typical glittering grains. These grains are capable of giving flavor and enhancing the other flavors coming from the foods you are about to eat. As with most salts, even cooking salts are easily soluble in water and this means that they dissolve quickly without leaving residues and breaking the series of crystalline bonds that held the grain of salt together.

Why is salt bad for you?

A pinch of salt” o “salt to taste (to taste)“, but how much is really enough? The certain thing is that during the course of the day you take a lot of salt, which should be reduced not only for the problems it can cause at the cardiovascular level. Salt, in fact, increases the sensation of sevencan alter the flavours of food, but above all it is an enemy of the waistline. The intake of large quantities of salt or very salty foods can have repercussions on an aesthetic level (cellulite and orange peel skin) and on a health level (cardiovascular problems and hypertension).

If it is true that sodium helps to modulate the passage of fluids and nutrients inside and outside the cells and participates in the transmission of nerve impulses, it is also true that it manages to hold large quantities of water within the body, causing increase in blood volume (increased pressure), swelling, edema, water retention (cellulite) e inhibition of the lymphatic system. All these factors put together and related to overweight and obesity can lead to the famous “metabolic syndrome” and multiple adverse effects on the heart and arteries.

How much salt should we take?

According to the LARN (Reference Intake Levels of Nutrients and Energy for the Italian population) the correct sodium intake for adults of both sexes is set at 3.75 grams of salt per daycorresponding to 1.5 grams of sodium (Na) daily.

However, the majority of the world’s population consumes levels of salt (sodium) much higher than those recommended and therefore faces all the aesthetic and health problems that have been reported previously. Everyone knows it by now: excess sodium is the enemy of well-being.

L’O.M.S (World Health Organization) recommends do not exceed 5 grams of salt per dayto avoid incurring cardiovascular problems of various kinds.

What are the foods richest in salt?

In addition to the salt that we add during the preparations, foods already contain it naturally, or this is added by the food industry in order to improve the flavor or for conservation reasons. So the foods come classified according to the sodium content and are divided into high- and low-salt foods. Cheeses and cold cuts are among the saltiest foods, but if we consider the quantities of food that are consumed every day and the frequency of intake, the first classified as a dietary source of sodium is certainly the pane eh bakery products (biscuits, crackers, snacks and breakfast cereals). In general, all pre-packaged products, which are quick and easy to eat, have a decent level of salt in them. But it will be shocking to know that most of the salt in the diet anyway comes from what you personally add when the food is prepared. Below is a table with foods and their sodium content.

The basis for a low sodium diet

To start a definable feeding iposodicyou need to do two essential things:

  1. Reduce or eliminate most pre-packaged or canned foods rich in salt, but also cured meats, cold cuts and various cheeses.
  2. Reduce, if not even eliminate, the salt that is added to the dishes being prepared.

In this way it will be possible to have the solid foundations for building a low-salt diet that is friendly to the heart, the arteries, but also the waistline. What are the useful tips to overcome the salt?

  • First it is necessary prefer fruit and vegetables part of your diet, which are naturally low in sodium, but rich in one element, the potassiumwhich manages to counterbalance the negative effects of sodium.
  • There are alternative salts on the market, such as potassium chloride. This salt replaces potassium for sodium and you will have a salt with a weaker and slightly more bitter taste, but with a decidedly less impact on the health of the human body.
  • Use spices and herbs to flavor foods and make up for the lack of salt. Be careful not to use spices that are added with salt.
  • Must rinse canned goods such as legumes welltaking care not to use the preserving liquid which is very rich in salt.
  • Learn to read the labels present on food and avoid sauces and creams which can throw your daily sodium levels off balance with just a few grams. An example is soy sauce, which accompanies sushi and pokè, but which is now present in all kitchens.

To receive a balanced and varied food plan, which takes these food choices into account and at the same time preserves the health of the body, it is always good to contact a dietician or nutritionist.


– Reference intake levels of nutrients and energy for the Italian population

-WHO (World Health Organization)

#Hyposodic #diet

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