Do experts recommend a salt-free diet?

Salt, a mineral made up of sodium and chloride, not only helps in enhancing the taste of foods but also benefits the body in many ways. “Salt helps to balance electrolytes in the body apart from regulating water levels,” said Jinel Patel, a dietitian at Apollo Spectra, Mumbai. Ayurveda expert Dr Dimple Jangda concurred, adding that salt “cleanses the body, removes congestion, aids in digestion, stimulates salivation, increases the absorption of nutrients from our food, and nourishes the nervous system among other benefits,” posted in an Instagram.

He further adds that “salt effectively combats and balances dryness in Vata (ectomorph). If you have symptoms of constipation, dry skin, dry hair, dehydration, salt can help combat these symptoms. So, why is a salt-free diet recommended despite its many benefits?

Addressing this dilemma, Dr. Dimple said, “Yes, we should go on a diet without salt, but only occasionally to purify the body. He said that salt is a good source of bile (fire) and kapha (earth) in our body. and water), when it is used excessively, causing premature wrinkles, thirst, skin problems and weakness. It can also cause excess water retention and increase blood pressure. Kapha (endomorph) doshas can occur. Pitta (mesomorph) types with excessive acidity, and acid reflux should avoid excess salt as it is hot.

However, according to Jinel Patel, a “salt-free diet cannot be recommended” unless there is a medical condition. “In a patient with chronic liver disease, where sodium and potassium derail, salt should not exceed 2 g per day to avoid fluid accumulation. Whereas in patients with ascites or edema in the extremities Salt can be redirected through sodium-rich foods (including all preserved/packaged foods),” she said.

It should be noted that 1 gram of salt contains 10 grams of water, so “the right amount of salt helps our bodies retain moisture, thus keeping bones, muscles, and tissues well-hydrated,” says Dr. Dimple further wrote, suggesting to abstain from refined salt which causes leaky gut syndrome. “Instead use natural salts like Himalayan salt, rock salt, sea salt, black salt (Sai ​​Shag Namak), and others,” she suggests.

Finally, Jinel shared that the properties of salt “can be enhanced by adding ginger, garlic, lemon juice and Indian herbs. These are comparatively healthier and also include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties.” There are.

The World Health Organization recommends eating less than 5 grams of salt per day. “A salt intake of less than 5 grams (about 2 grams of sodium) per person per day is recommended by the WHO for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, the leading cause of death globally. In the Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)” Salt reduction strategy is a ‘best buy’,” the WHO site reads.

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