Salt: the culprit of heart diseases and associated conditions. Salt intake is of prime importance for hypertensive, hyperlipidemics and heart patients. Sodium present in table salt causes health hazards. Increased intake of salt is not only a concern for Indians or Asians but to the whole world, as incidence of heart diseases is increasing. Governing bodies recommend less than 1 tsp salt intake per day. One needs to keep a check on overall salt intake. There are a couple of food items which contain salt in excess amount which increase the risk.
Sweet and sour sauce: 0.33 gm per 100 gmSpices and condiments are hidden sources of salt. Salad dressing, mayonnaise, sauces, ketchup etc contain even more amount of salt. For e.g. soy sauce has 1.1 gm sodium per teaspoon. For adults, daily 1500 – 2300 mg sodium intake is recommended. Below are some examples of sodium content in given food items.
Hot chili sauce: 2.79 gm per 100 gm
Szechuanchili sauce: 1.3 gm per 100 gm
Tomato ketchup: 167 mg per 15 gm
Mayonnaise: 80 mg per 15 gm
Some dairy products such as processed cheese, butter have high amount of sodium. Sodium is an important part of the cheese industry. It has preservative properties.
One serving of cheese provides 350 to 500 mg sodium.
One cup of milk contains 120 mg sodium.
5 gm of industry processed butter contains 82 mg sodium.
Ready to cook food items are another store house for sodium. As salt has preserving properties, it is used in excessive amount. Soup powder contains 670 mg sodium per 10 gm*. Canned vegetables, soups, gravies contain sodium. One needs to learn to read the nutritional table before picking up any product. It maybe surprising to associate desserts with high sodium foods, but cream and chocolate loaded foods contain more sodium. So we need to stay away from cakes, pastries and other bakery goods.
In today’s time, there is increased craze for breakfast cereals and porridges. Corn is a high source of sodium. Different brands have different sodium content. One serving of corn flakes (28 gm) contains 266 mg sodium which counts for 11 % of daily requirements. Bakery products are another store for sodium. Breads, bagel, doughnuts contain 300-450 mg sodium per serving. Self rising flours, cake mixes need to be checked for sodium content. Baking powder itself contains sodium carbonate. Fast food containing all the sauces and spices are loaded with salt.
InIndiawe have traditional preserved food items like, cured vegetables, pickles, papad etc. Dehydrated non veg. foods such as sausages contain more than 500 mg sodium. Salt is used to preserve them and increase the shelf life of the product.
Many times products contains label as ‘reduced salt’ may contain 25 % less salt than normal item. But original product may be really high in salt ultimately ineffective to make a difference. Patients prescribed for low salt diet need to be cautious in this case.