Salt can Lead to Bone Weakening, Osteoporosis and Tooth loss.
Salt is one of the important reasons to consider if you are losing on the bone strength or considered at risk of osteoporosis.
Sodium in salt can also weaken your teeth. A lot like bones, tissues make up your teeth rely on calcium to give them structure and strength.
A high sodium intake is shown to increase the amount of calcium your body disposes of through urine, which can lead to osteoporosis and tooth loss.
Recommended Salt Intake in India
Recent data on salt intake levels in India show consumption is around 11 g per day, higher than the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended intake of 5 g per day.
Sources of dietary salt are known to vary, with over 75% of dietary salt in high-income group coming from processed foods, while the predominant source of dietary salt in low and middle-income group is from homemade foods where salt is added during food preparation.
The main source of dietary salt in India is from added salt during cooking.
India is presently undergoing a rapid epidemiological, demographic, and nutrition transition, and salt intake from pre-prepared packaged foods has increased.
The process of the nutrition transition has happened across three stages:
(1) consumers have moved away from traditional staple items and towards a more ‘westernized’ diet, including the increased consumption of wheat in the form of bread, cakes, and cookies;
(2) the influence of globalization mean that consumers now have more access to a variety of convenience foods, including processed, ready-to-eat, deep-fried food with added preservatives; and
(3) in a higher socioeconomic population, consumers are aware of adverse eating habits and try to adapt to a healthy lifestyle.
Most of the urban middle-class population in India is reportedly in the second stage of nutrition transition, and the effect is marked by a decline in the consumption of coarse cereals, fruits, and vegetables, and an increased intake of unhealthy fats, dietary salt, and animal foods.
The pervasive presence of food and beverage advertisements, particularly through TV and radio, as well as the rapid growth of supermarkets and fast-food outlets is further contributing to the increasingly imbalanced diets of many Indians.
The arrival of chain restaurants and fast food outlets in urban settings alongside continued consumption of traditional Indian cuisine, which uses substantial amounts of salt for food preparation as well as for seasoning at the table, means that the sources of dietary salt are likely to steadily increase in number.
The above factors highlight the importance of understanding how diets are changing.
Now lets understand how daily salt intake can lead to serious problems like cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure and Osteoporosis.
Salt and Osteoporosis
Salt is a major factor in controlling the amount of calcium in the urine and loss from the bones.
Calcium is important for bone strength, too much salt can lead to bone weakening and therefore osteoporosis.
High blood pressure caused by a high salt diet can also increase the risk of osteoporosis by increasing the rate at which calcium is lost from the bones.
Osteoporosis is a condition involving the thinning of bones (bone de-mineralisation), leaving them brittle and more susceptible to fracture. Ninety nine percent of calcium is stored in the bones, so sufficient calcium is important in order to maintain or reach peak bone mass (PBM).
Who is most at risk of osteoporosis?
The older population are more at risk of osteoporosis because bones naturally become thinner as we get older.
Post-menopausal women are particularly at risk of osteoporosis because of the decrease in the female hormone, estrogen.
Those with higher salt intake are increasing the amount of bone demineralisation that takes place.
Studies have also demonstrated that there is a correlation between salt intake and calcium excretion in young and adolescent girls.
It has been suggested that this may result in a reduced peak bone mass, which would increase the risk of osteoporosis later in life.
Consuming a low salt diet during adolescent years may therefore be important, to reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life.
Dietary and Lifestyle Advice
Salt is the main reason for losing bone strength. Therefore this can be achieved by making simple changes, such as:
Consuming less processed foods and checking product labels before purchase.
Consuming low salt dairy products such as milk will also help maintain bone mass.
Caffeine and fizzy drinks are thought to reduce bone mass, and therefore should be kept to a minimum.
An increase in Vitamin D, Zinc and Copper may also be of help. Buy Supplements Online
Avoiding extra salt over salads would help.
Discard table salts from your dinner table.
Switch to pink himalayan salt for cooking.
Prepare your own home cooked meals (and limit the salt in recipes and “instant” products)
Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.
Add herbs and spices to your food. Instead of salt, try coriander, black pepper, nutmeg, parsley, cumin, cilantro, ginger, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, tarragon, garlic or onion powder, bay leaf, oregano, dry mustard, or dill.