Salt is important to live. Cooking salt is sodium chloride. Sodium and chloride are important to our body. It controls the functions of the muscles and nerves in our body. It is also important to regulate the water and mineral balance in our body without which the cell could not get nutrients and the wastes could not be removed from the cells.

The daily recommended intake amount is two to three grams per day. But unfortunately people are taking 3 to 10 times more. Particularly our south Indian food contains lot of salt. Think about the salted fish, the lemon or mango or chilly or vegetables or fish pickles…these have tons of salt. The biggest problem is without salt our food is not at all tasty.

The big danger is not only fast, junk and processed foods but also the sweets including cakes, biscuits and even corn flakes. These contain also lot of salt. A good sweet will not be tasty without salt. If we have problems with blood pressure or other problems with the heart it is better to avoid fast, junk and processed food totally. In Tamil Nadu we make lot of dried chillies or other vegetables or onion vadagams with lot of salt. These must also be avoided.

If it is so important where are the problems? There are two important problems and they are

• Sodium retains water in our body and this is not good for the heart as well as for the cells. Lot of water in the body means more work for the heart.
• Too much of salt narrows the arteries and this means once again more work for the heart. In both cases the blood pressure shoots up and this is one of the serious risk factor for heart attack and stroke.

It is better to put half the amount of salt to your meals. It is not at all necessary to put salt to the rice because we use salt in all other side preparations.

Never keep table salt during your meals.

Before excretion between the connection between kidneys and brain a part of sodium is absorbed back to body. This shows clearly the importance of salt for our body to live.