How much (and which) salt is healthy?

I can not without. My Schnitzel, my Pasta Sauce, my Geschnetzeltes: No matter what I eat, I have to salt. Of course, now I know that too much salt is unhealthy. But how much can I eat from it? Are there salts that are healthier than others? Or even alternatives to salt?

Why salt is so important to us

In fact, salt is not only the "salt in the soup" for taste reasons. It is vital, no cell of the human body can exist without salt. The average salt content of your body consists of about 200 grams of salt – or, as it is chemically called: sodium chloride. Without sodium, our heart could not beat, nerves would be paralyzed, blood circulation, metabolism and muscle activity would not work anymore. The chloride again is necessary for your digestion. Also, water balance and bone build up are regulated by sodium and chloride. If you consume less than two grams of salt per day, the low salt concentration in your body will stop your thirst. That could even lead to dehydration. Only then, of course, it comes as good as never. Because even with our normal diet, we usually take more salt every day than is good for us. And that even has genetic reasons: Because it was difficult for the early humans to get to salt, he is rewarded in its inclusion until today with the release of the happiness hormone dopamine. And that makes us a little addictive again …

Why should the cooking water of vegetables be salted

If you cook vegetables, then you should salt the cooking water necessarily. Because the salt closes by osmosis (do you still remember the chemistry lessons?), The cell walls. This not only shortens the cooking time, it also preserves valuable ingredients. Only legumes such as lentils or beans should be salted after cooking. Otherwise the cooking time would be longer. In short, salt is not per se unhealthy, but even necessary for survival. But…

Why is too much salt unhealthy?

If you take up too much salt, then the excess sodium chloride is eliminated. But that leads to a considerable loss of water. You get more thirsty, drink more. That does not sound so bad per se. But a permanently high salt consumption increases the water storage in your body. Your weight is increasing, but most of all, it can damage your kidney function. In addition, too much salt in your body leads to hypertension, which can again raise your stress hormone levels and in the long term can lead to heart attacks or strokes. Worldwide, an incredible 2.3 million people die every year due to heart problems caused by excessive salt intake.

How much salt is healthy?

On average, we consume about 12 grams of salt per day in Austria. That's too much salt. At least two grams and a maximum of four grams (for more inactive people) or eight grams of salt per day (for very active people who sweat a lot) are considered appropriate and vital, which is roughly equivalent to one level teaspoon. The best way to use natural salt – and only moderately. For your heart health, you should pay attention to a low-salt diet.

Which foods contain salt?

It's not so much the salt that I sprinkle on my food from the salt shaker that makes my salt intake rise to an unhealthy level. Approximately 75 percent of our daily salt consumption comes from industrially processed foods such as Weckerln, Aufback rolls, meat and sausage or cheese. Especially over-salted are usually also prepared meals such as ready-made pizza or pasta with sauce.

How do I know the salt content in prepared meals?

The food industry is a little tricky. Mostly the salinity is not indicated on the packs but the sodium content. You have to take this value 2.5 times. Then you know how much salt is really in the product.

What alternatives are there for salt?

It will initially be a bit unfamiliar to your taste buds, but herbs are a healthy substitute for salt. Onions, chili, garlic, rosemary, lemon, turmeric and curry contain seasonings, but also strengthen your defenses and fight viruses.

Does salt cause cellulite?

Cellulite is a connective tissue weakness that is only compounded by improper diet. Fast foods and co. Push the formation of ugly dents on thighs and buttocks, as fat, sugar and, above all, salt can promote the storage of fat in the skin. Therefore, you should prefer a low-salt diet if you do not want to further strengthen the dents.