Hypertension and Hyper tempting pickles!

Can a single day go with no salt or low salt in our diets?
If we could celebrate one day in a year with salt free diet to bring awareness about Hypertension to people at large? Not just by celebrating every 17th of May the world hypertension day on podiums, health camps and lectures and launching “low sodium salt!” but actually practising no salt day! The amount of whites – Salt Refined Sugar and refined flours (maida/refined wheat flour, rice flour, corn flour) in our everyday foods is leading to major chronic disorders, while hypertension being the most common yet undiagnosed one.

Of all the varieties of foods we eat everyday pickle forms an integral part and severed at least once and in few households served with every meal! Pickle here is referred to any preserved fruit/vegetable which is sour in nature packed with spices, oils and loads of salt. How much is too much? Well though pickles have many healthy spices the salt overload makes it an occasional food in ideal balanced diets for present lifestyle. Traditionally pickle was severed in the thali during lunch, since those days, we worked hard in farm lands,as well in kitchens, used no chemicals to grow crops,no motors for farming or household chores,strangely we now use motored tooth brush to brush teeth as well! We never ate vacuum packed chips and snacks, nor guzzled bottles of soft drinks or ate festive snacks everyday, never ate cheese pizza burgers doughnuts and other bakery snacks. Hence eating pickle once everyday was easy 🙂

Our present salt load at various meals –
Morning – Breakfast+ pickles/Sauce /Ketchup /Salted Butter/Cheese/Breads/Buns/Podis/Spicy chutneys etc

Afternoon- Lunch/ meals + Pickle/Papad/Vada/Appalam/salt in curds/buttermilk/additional salt in dals,curries and rice;other than salt added while cooking rice /chapati dough/boiling Dal etc
Evening – Snacks/Tea/Coffee/Fruit Juices /Soft Drinks;
Bhajji,Pakora/Samosa/Kachori/Chats/Panipuri/chips/crispies/Puffs/fried dals /khatta meetha
mixtures/boondi/sev/bhujiya/burger/Pizza/Sandwiches/Chinese foods/
Sauce /Ketchup /Salted Butter/Cheese/Breads/Buns/Podis/Spicy chutneys

Night- Dinner Meals +Pickle/Papad/Vada/Appalam/salt in curds/buttermilk/additional salt in dals,curries and
rice;other than salt added while cooking rice /chapati dough/boiling Dal

Note : All Italicised foods are Sodium dense.

Apart from this we add salt as per our personal taste in all the food that we prepare and many times also add additional salt while eating. While this is the salt overload on any normal given day.
How much salt do we really need?
Sodium is lost in urine,thru sweat as Sodium chloride. Though sodium present in foods is not adequate to meet body requirements, additional dietary sodium enhances taste and helps in various bodily functions.
The recommendations of National Institute of Nutrition is about 8-10 gm, while its difficult to understand an average Indians sodium consumption per day ,given the above account of sodium rich foods that we are exposed to currently it is wise to reduce further salt intake to 6-8 gm /day, given the climatic conditions, working conditions of individuals (Air conditioning or too much of Sunlight both lead to dehydration leading to water imbalance and sodium -Potassium imbalance.) Proper balance of Sodium and Potassium is essential to keep the osmotic balance and normal functioning of body cells.

Hypertension is one of the most common silent chronic condition which starts in young adults at 25 years or even early and goes unnoticed due to lack of awareness of hypertension symptoms as some times there are no symptoms and at times difficult to understand / interpret
Common symptoms of hypertension:
1.Dull headache
2.Dizzy spells
3.Rare occasions nose bleeds

While high sodium is key to raised blood pressures, the following are other ways to prevent hypertension
1.Regular physical exercise
2.Take plenty of whole grains, nuts fruits and vegetables in diet,
3.Let the pickles tickle the pallet occasionally
4.Choose foods that are less salty and free of trans fatty acids (refined floors and vacuum packed snacks)
5.Avoid smoking and Alcoholic drinks
6.over use of analgesics with out doctors consent /prescription
7.Take less of salt in your diet but never go for low sodium slat!

Some thoughts on low Sodium Salt !
While Normal salt is 20.00 INR /kg this might be double the price, I never bought one though!
I did get a few packs free with some other products which I used for cleaning purpose. Meaning this is not having enough market !
What is Salt? – Na Cl Sodium Chloride.
Now when we say Low sodium salt it has to be replaced with some other salt/Ions, does our body require the other salts like Na , answer is No.
So is it K Cl? Potassium(K) is plenty in all fruits, vegetables and grains so what is low Sodium?
Hence please do not invite more health hazards! Salt is Sodium Chloride and lets take it that way, with a pinch of Salt! may be little less but not Pseudo Sodium 🙂

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