The average intake of salt in the UK is 9 - 12 grams per day. A teaspoon of salt contains about 2.5g each of sodium and chloride.
The minimum amount of salt estimated to be needed by the body for the effective working of the heart and nerves is 2 grams per day.
For optimum nutrition all our salt needs will come from a good whole food diet and therefore there is no need to have any additional salts.
Salt has been implicated as a “killer” substance causing disorders that vary from high blood pressure to arthritis, including anxiety, stress, (PMT), and fluid retention.
For every gram of salt consumed, the body is said to retain 70g of water. The kidneys retain water to dilute the salt and this overloading of the kidneys can lead to high blood pressure and strokes, coronary heart disease and kidney failure.
As well as reducing sodium, perhaps we should be increasing potassium intake. Eating a couple of the following foods each day will enhance the effect of cutting back on salt.
Apples, Apricots, Bananas (very high), Beans, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Corn on the cob, Dates, Grapefruit, Oranges, Peas, Peppers, Potatoes, Prunes, Radishes and Raisins.
Boiling vegetables in water with salt reduces this potassium level.
Natural foods, which are high in salt, tend to be seafoods, e.g. crab, lobster, whelks, prawns and shrimps. Kidneys are also high in salt.
Foods high in added salt are - Cereals, Biscuits, Cakes, Puddings, Dairy Products (especially cheese), Drinks (Cocoa / Horlicks), Fish (Kippers, tinned or smoked fish, shellfish), Meats (Most tinned meats, meat pastes, pastries and hams), Sauces and soups and tinned vegetables.