Salt for Health
Due to its ability to preservefoodssalthas become a foundations of European civilization. Thousands years before white people en masse obtained access to oriental spices and then invented fridges,salthad become hardly the only means of preservingfood. It has been so valuable that even Jesus Christ mentioned that mineral calling his disciples “thesaltof the Earth” to stress their importance and moral value. Unrefinedsaltincludes all the four primary electrolytes of human body (calcium, magnesium, potassium andsodium).
The mineral which is widely used in the Western cuisines is refined salt that contains up to 99 per cent ofsodiumchloride. As a rule it contains such agents as magnesium or silicoaluminate which can make it free-flowing. When these agents are not enough such desiccants as grains of uncooked rice are added to absorb the excess moisture.
Nevertheless in spite of being really useful this spice could do you a great deal of harm. Either lack or excess of it in yourfoodration could lead to dizziness, muscle cramps which in their turn can lead to various neurological disorders or even to death. Insufficient salt intake with drinking much water would cause hyponatremia or water intoxication. Ingestion of considerable amount of it during relatively short period of time may cause death.
Long term effects
Long-term consequences ofsaltconsumption are still controversial. Its reduced intake proves to have little or no effect on both mortality and morbidity. Nevertheless, some associations may include such troubles as cardiovascular disease or even stroke.
High Blood Pressure
There is a bulk of evidence which proves association between blood pressure andsaltintakes duringfoodamong people of different ages. Its reduced intake may also result in relatively small reduction in blood pressure.
Furthermore, regardless of blood pressure effects excesssaltintake may cause left ventricular hypertrophy. Inadequatesaltandsodiumintake combined with excessive intake of liquors may cause such disorder as hypernatremia which in its turn could result in acute renal failure. According to Cochrane Collaboration research a long-term moderate reduction in mass this spice intake withfoodmay result in average population of blood pressure as well as in strokes reduction, heart failures and heart attacks. Such isolated cultures as South American Yanomami were found to have been still capable of regular activity. It may indicate humans’ adaptation tosodiumlower levels that might have originated from human ancestors’ vegetarian diet. The risk of coming down with some disease due to excessive or insufficient salt intake may vary due to biochemical individuality.
As a rule recommendedsaltintakes are expressed in terms of intakes ofsodium. Assodiumchloridesaltincludes some 40% ofsodiumby weight. You needn't recourse to the substitutes ofsaltto reduce its intake. Instead you could simply reduce the amount of it in your daily diet. Those who suffer from diabetes, heart failure or kidney failure should be medically advised before taking some substitutes. Some manufacturers have even issued a statement discouraging those who take some prescription drugs from takingsaltsubstitute.
According to scientists' estimations, 150,000 lives are likely to be saved annually provided Americans decrease ofsaltintake to the medically prescribed limit.
During just two years as many people die in America from high-salt ration as perished during WWII.As we can see this mineral could be useful as a cheap preservative yet could surely be poisonous provided being abused.