How much salt should you consume per day?

How much salt should you consume per day?

Symptoms that warn you that you are taking too much salt

The vast majority of people consume too much salt. The average is around 10-12 grams per day, which is double the maximum recommended by health specialists, who warn of some of its most frequent symptoms.

Sodium is a mineral that is necessary for the proper functioning of the body, although many people make the mistake of ingesting much more than is really necessary. Its excessive consumption contributes to problems of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

For this reason, we explain the symptoms that may indicate that you are consuming it excessively.
The swelling can be caused by an excess in the consumption of salt.

One of the symptoms that can lead to the fact that you are consuming excessively salt is the swelling of different parts of the body. You can notice it both in the hands and in the feet or eyes, but also in the abdomen.

When the body begins to retain too much water due to excessive salt consumption, edema appears, which must be treated through a diet with great restrictions.

Different studies have shown that people suffer more gastrointestinal inflammation when they eat a diet high in salt. This is one of the most obvious and easy-to-see symptoms, as it is evident in the extremities and other parts of the body.
The diet of the Spanish exceeds in salt. 80% ingest twice the amount recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), which advises not to exceed 5 grams per day. And it is that not only the one that we add at the stroke of a salt shaker counts -which, in reality, only represents 10% of all the salt- but the one that many foods have incorporated, whether in natural presentation -another 10% – as, and above all , in processed foods -whose percentage reaches 80%. For this reason, if you opt for the latter, it is necessary to read the label carefully, to know how much salt they contain. From the Spanish Society of Hypertension-Spanish League for the fight against arterial hypertension (SEH-LEHLA) they clarify that to know the salt content of a food, simply multiply by 2.5 the amount of sodium indicated on the label.
Where is the salt hidden?

80% of the salt consumed in Spain is ingested through processed and prepared foods and we are often not aware of this. That is why it is called “hidden” or “invisible”: sometimes it is not noticeable, but it is always there. It’s easy to distinguish the salty taste in olives, cold cuts, cheese, pizza, breadsticks, or sparkling water (some brands contain up to 100 times more sodium than weakly mineralized waters). However, it is more difficult to recognize it in sweet breakfast cereals, in some preserves or in some pre-cooked dishes. It must be remembered that canned products use it as a preservative additive; thus, sweet corn, tuna, Burgos cheese, mayonnaise or ham are rich in salt and can increase the daily amount of salt almost without realizing it.

Bread is a separate point. A few years ago, the custom of accompanying dishes with a piece of bread was an important contribution of salt in the diet of the Spanish. The bread consumed now contains 25% less salt than in 2005, when the Ministry of Health and the bakery sector reached an agreement to progressively reduce the amount of salt. Thus, the 22 grams of salt from then have become 16.3 grams of salt per kilo of flour today. However, for low sodium diets, specialists recommend using unsalted bread.
With less salt, more health

Sodium, associated with chlorine and bicarbonates, plays a fundamental role in the acid-base balance of the body. Its function is to maintain the osmotic pressure in the extracellular medium to avoid excessive loss of water. Yes, as an excess of sodium causes water retention, its deficiency causes loss. And it helps transmit nerve impulses. The body has an amount of sodium that ranges between 48 and 60 milliequivalents per kilo of weight (mEq / kg), according to sex and age. Sodium in the body is provided by food. However, excessive intake, together with factors such as obesity and sedentary lifestyle, causes an increase in the incidence and prevalence of arterial hypertension. More than 1.5 billion people suffer from high blood pressure worldwide. In Spain, it could affect more than 12 million people, since many are unaware of their condition, a true epidemic.

It is considered one of the cardiovascular risk factors. Without treatment, hypertension takes a toll on the arteries and causes cerebrovascular diseases, such as stroke, or cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack, dilated heart disease.

ada and heart failure, among others. It also increases the risk of developing kidney failure, cognitive impairment, and hypertensive retinopathy that can lead to blindness.

A recent systematic review by the Cochrane Hypertension group suggests that a moderate reduction in salt for four or more weeks causes a significant decrease in blood pressure levels in hypertensive and normotensive people, regardless of gender and ethnic group, and that current recommendations Reducing your salt intake from 9-12 to 5-6 grams per day provides significant benefits. However, they conclude that it would be necessary to reduce this figure to 3 grams per day to obtain the ideal result. For its part, SEH-LEHLA recommends consuming less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day.

How much salt should you consume per day?

how much-salt-must-consume-a-day The recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) is not to consume more than 5 grams of salt a day, but in Spain the average person consumes more than 9 grams, and a 80% of Spaniards ingest between 10 and 12 grams daily. More than how much salt to consume, we would have to look at how to reduce the diet in salt.

Health risk

Consuming too much salt significantly increases some health risks, especially:

high blood pressure, in turn a significant risk factor for heart disease
fluid retention, which leads to weight gain, and various organs have to work harder than necessary, particularly the heart, liver, and kidneys, greatly increasing the likelihood of certain serious diseases.

If the average Spaniard consume too much salt, and that the risks of excessive consumption are to increase the chances of certain diseases, we should work to reduce our consumption.
The salt is not where you think

The first reflex is probably to think that we belong to the minority that does not consume much salt, precisely because we do not use the salt shaker much. But it is a mistake, the main problem does not come from food cooked at home, but from many prepared foods.

For example, once I was in a very famous hamburger chain, I stopped to look at the nutritional contributions of the menu that I had just eaten (the typical combination of hamburger, fries and soda). It took me a moment to calculate things because I had to add to the three foods for each section. But there was a category where the recommended dose was exceeded in a single meal, and it was precisely salt. And not only for the fries, but also largely for the hamburger itself.

Foods with more salt

The foods that provide us with the most salt are bread, sausages, dairy products and prepared dishes. Bread and dairy products are important to our diet, but the rest are not. Therefore, a good solution is to buy bread and cheeses with lower salt content, and do without prepared dishes or sausages.

And you have to be careful with the labels. Normally the amount of sodium is mentioned, and to know how much salt it corresponds to, it is necessary to multiply the figure by 2.5.