The average consumption is about two or three teaspoons per day, almost twice and three times the recommended daily dose by the WHO (World Health Organization) which amounts to 4 gr. The consumption of salt has tended to be higher in southern Italy and lowest in the central regions. Salt is necessary for our body: it is indispensable for the life of the cells, ensures the contraction of the heart, favours the absorption of some minerals including calcium and contributes to the regulation of intestinal motility. The excesses, however, alter the functions of sodium and chlorine. In fact, an excess of salt puts the heart under stress, favours the stagnation of the fluids in the body increasing the residence and contact times of the scoriae with the cells and the tissues.
It is important to understand that the salt taken with the diet is not only what we use in kitchen to season pasta, main courses of meat and fish and vegetables. But it is already naturally contained in foods, even fruit contains it. Different foods, naturally poor in sodium chloride, undergo a technological treatment of processing or storage that makes them saltier. For people suffering from hypertension it is recommended to limit the consumption of canned food. A high content of salt is present in cold cuts and in snacks, salt is in fact an excellent preservative. Pay some attention, moderate the quantities used and read the labels can help not only the hypertensive patients but also healthy subjects, for preventive purposes, to comply with the recommendations of the World Health Organization.
To gradually reduce the consumption of salt enhances taste sensitivity, in fact less salted food are more appreciated, without sacrificing the taste. To check the ingredients and to prefer products with less salt content makes the difference. Bread, that is consumed on a daily basis, and dairy products are also available at a lower content of salt. Preferring fresh cheese to those seasoned represents a good practice to limit the daily introduction of salt. Seasoning foods with fresh herbs and spices, by restricting the use of seasonings that are very rich in sodium as stock cube, ketchup, soy sauce, mustard will help to moderate the taking of salt. For the health of the whole family it would be appropriate to gradually add less salt, and always iodate, to recipes, so that everyone will slowly become accustomed to eat less salty: you will discover that pasta, rice, meat, fish, vegetables are so delicious even without salt.
In salads, no salt, adding only oil, lemon juice or vinegar you can still eat with taste. It is very important not to add salt to baby food, the later it is introduced in their diet the healthier they will be. When one practice a light sporting activity, the losses of salts can be reintegrated with the mere acquisition of mineral water avoiding to consume drinks rich in salts and sugars. A healthy diet therefore includes a moderate consumption of salt, aimed at preventing serious diseases such as stroke and heart attack. Less salt at the table fights, in fact, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.