Are you aware of the hidden toxic salt in your daily food intake?
What is Sodium Chloride?
Table salt is composed of 40% sodium and 60% chloride. The human body needs salt to function. Salt is responsible to help carry nutrients into the cells. It helps regulate other bodily functions, such as blood pressure and fluid volume.
It is now known that it is really table salt that is causing many untold health problems, regardless of its amount. Because it is refined and processed, what is left of table salt is only sodium and chloride which are toxic to our body.
This page touches on the hidden salt in commercial food that is extremely harmful to our body. Learn also about another type of salt that works the direct opposite of table salt. Salt that is actually healthful.
Table salt is commonly used as a seasoning, or pickling agent or preservatives in home cooked foods. However, food manufacturers also add other forms of sodium into food that is sold to the uninformed public.
It is the excessive sodium in salt that causes many degenerative diseases. Chloride is almost harmless. The food you eat may not taste salty, but let me show you how sodium are hidden in your food.
Excessive sodium of any form can cause high blood pressure (hypertension) which rapidly increase the risks of strokes and heart diseases, the two major killers in Malaysia and in many developed countries.
There are more than forty known sodium additives. Here is only a short list of additives that are commonly used in commercially manufactured foods.
- Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) as flavor enhancer—Is present in many packaged, canned and restaurant food. Commonly used in packet or canned soups, instant noodles, stock cubes, condiments, sauces, snacks, pickles and canned meat.
- Sodium Saccharin as artificial sweetener—This sodium does not taste salty, in fact it is actually used as a sweetener. It is harmful all the same, causing the same problems that table salt would. Commonly used in diet sodas, dietetic food and as a sugar substitute.
- Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate as a sequestrant—This agent is used to combine with trace metals in food to render them inactive. Also used in leavening mixtures for self-rising in cakes, doughnuts, waffles, muffins, cupcakes. Also found in sausages and hotdogs. See? Sodium is not necessarily salty.
- Sodium Alginate or Sodium Carboxymethyl Cellulose as a stabilizer, thickener and texturizer—As an agent to stabilize, retain or intensify the color of foods and prevents sugar from crystallizing. Also increase viscosity and modifies food texture. Commonly used in beverages, beer, ice-cream, chocolate-flavored drinks, cheese spreads, frozen custard, desserts, baked good and pie fillings, diet foods and even baby foods (do we know what are we feeding to our babies?)
- Sodium Benzoate as flavoring and anti-microbial preservative—Has no taste on its own, but enhances the natural flavor of foods. Usually used when little other natural ingredients are present, as in margarine, soft drinks, milk, pickles, confection, fruit jelly and jams.
- Sodium Propionate as preservative—to extend shelf-lives of foods by preventing growth of micro-organisms that hasten food spoilage. Mostly present in all breads, rolls, pastries, pies and cakes.
How Much Sodium Do You Consume A Day?
Consider what you eat (and what your child eats): If you eat any one portion of these a day, you would have exceeded your daily need of 200 mg sodium, or the allowable 2,400 mg sodium a day. Below is a shocking list of what a typical Malaysian would eat:
- Ina Wan Tan Noodles (16,800 mg sodium = 7 x allowable !!)
- Korean Noodle U-Dong flavor (9,330 mg sodium = 3.89 x allowable)
- Korean Noodle Kimchi flavor (8,350 mg sodium = 3.48 x allowable)
- Maggi Mee Chicken flavor (8,160 mg sodium = 3.4 x allowable)
- Cintan Mushroom Chicken flavor (8,160 mg sodium = 3.4 x allowable)
- Ibumie Mi Sup Udang ala Pinang (5,280 mg sodium = 2.18 x allowable)
- Mamee Express Cup Noodle (3,480 mg sodium = 1.45 x allowable)
- Local favorites:
- Nasi lemak (4,020 mg sodium = 1.68 x allowable)
- Prawn noodles (2,720 mg sodium = 1.13 x allowable)
- Mamak mee goreng (3,190 mg sodium = 1.33 x allowable)
- Fried koay teow (2,310 mg sodium = 0.96 x allowable)
- Assam laksa (2,390 mg sodium = 1 x allowable)
- Fast foods:
- KFC’s fried chicken (2,590 mg sodium = 1.08 x allowable)
- KFC’s french fries (2,580 mg sodium = 1.08 x allowable)
- Cocoa powder (950 mg / 5 gm)
- Milo powder (500 mg / 10 gm)
- Cornflakes (1,170 mg / 30 gm)
- Scones (800 mg / 30 gm)
- Salted butter and margarine (840 mg / 10 gm)
- Boiled prawns (1,590 mg / 120 gm)
- Fried bacon (1,870 mg / 40 gm)
- Grilled bacon (2000 mg / 40 gm)
- Canned ham (1,250 mg / 90 gm)
- Canned luncheon meat (1,050 mg / 90 gm)
- Salami slices (1,080 mg / 90 gm)
- Fried beef sausages (818 mg / 90 gm)
- Camembert cheese (1,410 mg / 25 gm)
- Cheese spread (1,170 mg / 10 gm)
- Danish blue cheese (1,420 mg / 25 gm)
- Processed cheese (1,360 mg / 25 gm)
- Vegemite (3,100 mg / 5 gm)
Every grain of salt retained in the body can carry 20 times its weight in water. Our body needs only 200 mg salt a day to function. Any more salt than that consumed which are not used, causes many health problems, shortening your life span.
- High blood pressure: Excessive sodium which are not used gets inside the blood vessels, thickening and narrowing them, causing the rise in blood pressure. Hypertension can be painless. Most people lead most of their lives normally, oblivious to the increasing force with which the blood is pressing against blood vessel walls. Then suddenly, the blocked artery ruptures and give way, cutting off blood supply to the brain. A stroke has happened. If it happens to the artery leading to the heart, a heart attack. Too late.
- Atherosclerosis: With high blood pressure, atherosclerosis usually follows closely behind. Fat deposits accumulate in the artery walls with careless eating, forming plaques that eventually blocks the flow of blood.
- Fluid retention: Excessive salt content in the blood attracts water from around your cells into the blood vessels in order to help dilute it. This results in fluid retention, causing uncomfortable swelling in the feet, hands or abdomen.
- Osteoporosis: When your healthy kidney process and excrete the excess salt from the body, most of the time, it takes along calcium with it. This habitual loss of calcium with salt causes the weakening of bones. If insufficient calcium is taken to replace the calcium loss, osteoporosis sets in.
- Kidney stones: Our kidneys are responsible for regulating salt and water levels in our body. When there is excessive sodium, the increased calcium output raises the risk of kidney stones.
- Stomach cancer: One of the most common form of cancer has been linked to high salt intake. Salt increases the speed of stomach cancer development. What it does is stripping the lining of the stomach and increases the chances of infection with helicobacter pylori, a known cancer trigger.
Other health problems linked with excessive consumption of salt or sodium:
- Cancer of the esophagus
- Aggravates asthma
- Chronic gastritis
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Liver cirrhosis
- Muscle twitching
- Brain damage
- Coma and sometimes even death
Source: Consumer Association of Penang, Malaysia, and healthyeatingclub.com
Instead of table salt or iodized salt, use Celtic sea salt. Celtic sea salt is hand-raked and left in the sun to dry. It contains 84 known trace minerals and micro-nutrients that our body needs. These are charged minerals that help retain moisture and are grey in color. Unlike table salt, sea salt are not as free-flowing when poured. This means that it is not processed, and is best.
When you ingest Celtic sea salt, it works with the saliva in your mouth and starts the digestive process and continues in the stomach. Celtic sea salt has been known to lower blood pressure and reduce water retention. It helps the liver, kidneys and adrenals to work much more efficiently, and also helps boost the immune system.
So, go get a packet of Celtic sea salt and put away your table salt or iodized salt. Though this salt costs slightly more, it is definitely a much more healthier option and more economical in the long run.