According to superstition, tossing salt over your shoulder wards off bad luck.
Logic aside, you may be better off with salt over your shoulder than on your plate! While recent research shows no association between salt intake and risk of heart disease, heart failure, or death, the American Heart Association recommends an upper limit of 2,300 mg of sodium a day and advises most adults to shoot for no more than 1,500 mg, especially adults older than 51, African Americans, and those with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.
Here’s yet another reason you may want to shake up your salt habit: New research suggests that excess salt consumption might put you at risk for dementia.
In an animal study, when mice were fed a high-sodium diet for eight weeks, they had reduced blood flow to areas of the brain related to memory and learning.
They also performed worse on tests related to recognizing objects, finding their way through mazes, and nest building — “activities of daily living” for mice.
There was some good news, though: When researchers put some of the animals back on a normal diet, their brain power was restored.
If you eat a lot of packaged foods or eat out a lot, you’re probably consuming far more than recommended levels, since processed foods and restaurant food are often loaded with salt.
Switching to whole foods and home-cooked meals will slash your sodium intake.
(Read labels carefully when you do eat packaged foods, especially the serving sizes.) Eat plenty of fruits and veggies and you’ll also increase your intake of potassium, which helps to balance out the effects of sodium.
And if you tend to do a “heavy pour” with the salt shaker, keep in mind that just 1/4 teaspoon of salt contains about 575 mg of sodium! Ease up with the help of delicious herbs and spices.
Basil, thyme, rosemary, garlic, and other herbs on the Mediterranean menu can bring vegetables, legumes, and meats to life, as can warming spices like turmeric, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, and chili peppers.
A squeeze of lemon on fish or sautéed veggies can add a bright tang.
Besides giving you a burst of flavor and helping you reduce sodium, these powerful plant foods are full beneficial nutrients.
That’s a win-win-win!
Source: Dietary salt promotes neurovascular and cognitive dysfunction through a gut-initiated TH17 response