Thursday 15 November 2012

Low Sodium Salt Truths...The TV Advertisement won't Tell You

Written by Anil Singh

I wanted to write this article before Diwali, but thought, why bitter the festive mood of some our dear friends -- Those Friends who normally eat Salt-less Food.

Now the Diwali festivities are almost over; I assume, I can write the article.

Modern day living has increased the incidence of High Blood Pressure and Heart diseases in our society. Many such individuals who suffer from high BP and Heart ailments have to either minimize or completely stop their salt intake. Since Salt is the primary ingredient to enhance food taste; eating food without salt is not Easy.

To offer some solace to such individuals and huge business to self; many companies are slowly rolling out Low Sodium Salts in the market. In theory, low-sodium salt seems like a great idea. It promises all the flavorful goodness of salt without the sodium and could be very helpful for those interested in lowering their sodium intake.

But there's a problem Here. The Problem is: It's not possible to create a Low Sodium Salt and still allow the product to be called a "Salt under Food Standards".

Let I explain you this, in detail.

Common Salt which we use in our day to day cooking is NaCl. That's each molecule of Salt consists of one atom of Sodum (Na) and one atom of Chlorine (Cl). Thus you can't have salt without sodium. If you try to achieve a low sodium content in salt, it'd be like taking the hydrogen out of H2O (water). That doesn't make a lot of sense! Does it? It doesn't.

Salt is called sodium chloride for a reason: It's 40 percent sodium and 60 percent chlorine, and cutting out most of the sodium makes it, well, something that isn't salt.

So What is Low Sodium Salt? The one Tata is advertising in its TV commercial.

Well, Low Sodium salts typically replace some of the sodium in sodium chloride with potassium Chloride, so they're a mixture of sodium and potassium chloride (NaCl and KCl). Potassium chloride does have a salt-like taste.

The two salts, pure NaCl and Low Sodium Salt (NaCl and KCl) may taste the same. But there's a reason we've been cooking our foods with pure NaCl salt for thousands of years. The Reason is: Potassium chloride can kill you or may not be particualrly good for your health. For the same reason, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), doesn't treat low-sodium salt isn't even as food. As food-grade salt is required to consist of at least 97.5 percent sodium chloride.

Want to listen some bad effects of Potassium chloride: KCl is the principle positive ion in our body's cells and can help lower blood pressure. Unfortunately, it can also stop your heart. In fact, potassium chloride, is safe in small dosages only. Hence, one can't take KCl as freely as one takes NaCl.

Low Sodium Salts are sold in developed countries only with Doctor's prescription. Unfortunately, India doesn't have such regulation. So people in India do start taking Low sodium salt after seeing the TV advertisement and without consulting their doctor.

So what this website can recommend (this not doctor's advice though. Take Your doctor's advice before taking any action):

As a rule of Thumb, it's safer to just stay away from non-food products, especially if they can kill you. And KCl has potential to do so. There's always a safe way to use the Safe options. Research says that Young, healthy people shouldn't have more than 2,300 milligrams of salt per day, which is equal to approximately one teaspoon. A safe way for those advised to either cut or minimize their salt intake, is to cut that quantity to  40 percent or 20 percent, that's less than half OR one fifth of a teaspoon (Take Doctor's advice before acting). If a person is advised to completely cut his/her salt intake; then he/she can consult their doctor on Low Sodium salt option and how to consume it.

To conclude, the objective of this article was not to create fear and hopelessness among those with high blood pressure. The idea is to share an info Low Sodium Salts hide or keep vague.

From the article, it becomes amply clear that low-sodium salt is not an untouchable ingredient. And in certain cases a low-sodium diet actually helps. But before one starts taking low-sodium salt, he/she should always consult his/her doctor. In addition, Low Sodium Salt should always be ingested in small quantities.

[If You Find the article useful, kindly share it with your friends and families. It will make our society more Healthy]

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