Before you sink your teeth into a freshly baked pizza with
extra cheese, think twice: The delicious pizza contains plenty of salt that
could harm your heart!
There is no doubt that salt adds to the taste of
food. Unfortunately, high salt intake is related to heart disease. Salt
increases blood pressure and therefore the work of the heart.
A survey found that the daily salt intake in the
United States is much more than is currently recommended. Current guidelines
permit a maximum sodium consumption of 2.3 g among normal people and 1.5 g in
patients at a high risk for heart disease like African Americans, people with
high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney disease.
Which foods are high in salt content? The survey found that almost half the salt
intake was from foods like bread, cold cuts and cured meats, pizza, poultry,
soups, sandwiches, cheese, pasta mixed dishes, meat mixed dishes, and savory
The problem of high-salt containing food is not only
restricted to the United States. The same foods are now commonly available in
the Indian market. Most of them are ready-to-eat, thus providing a tempting
alternative to cooking. Awareness should be created among the general public to
control the intake of these foods and stick to the healthy Indian diet before
it is too late.
One way to control the salt intake would thus be to
implement guidelines for food manufacturers and restaurants to reduce the salt
content of their foods. The impact of reducing salt in these foods could be
huge; it could prevent a large number of deaths due to heart disease and result
in huge savings in healthcare-related expenditure.
Another way to reduce the intake of these high-salt
containing foods is to educate the general public. People should also be taught
to check food labels and select foods that contain low sodium.
Control your salt intake and you have less chances
of suffering from heart disease.