Extra salt in all your meals? It may lead to this severe kidney ailment

According to the World Health Organisation, an adult should consume less than 2000 milligrams of salt per day. Photo: Shutterstock/goffkein.pro

For some people, it is a habit to sprinkle extra salt in their food right before eating, even when it has an adequate amount of it. Once you are accustomed to having food with higher levels of salt, your taste buds can also urge you to 'sprinkle a bit more,' just for comfort. Yes, people can perceive flavours and tastes differently, but it's important to note this – if your sprinkling is inadvertently leading to overconsumption of salt, it can result in you developing a condition called Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). If diagnosed with it, you will have to also go through extensive treatment including dialysis.

How much is too much?
According to the World Health Organisation, an adult should consume less than 2000 milligrams of salt per day, which is less than 5 grams. This is just under one teaspoon. For children between the ages of two to 15, this should be adjusted downwards, depending on their energy needs. Age, health conditions and various other factors can also be considered in deciding what's a healthy level of salt intake for a person. For example, those who have a condition of high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney problems and more should restrict their consumption further, as per the advice of their healthcare providers. Check the labels of processed foods before you consume them as packaged items generally contain high levels of sodium, as it plays a major role in enhancing their flavours and preservation.

How to reduce my intake
If you feel your salt intake is high, here are a few tips to lower it.
1) Consume more home-cooked food, as you can control the number of tastemakers in it as per your health preferences.
2) While buying processed foods from the market, check labels to ensure they are 'low sodium' or have no 'added salts.' As far as possible, limit their consumption as well and opt for fresh food items.
3) Some experts advise that one can also gradually reduce the salt content in your food, so that your taste buds can adjust with it, with time.
4) Drinking enough water as per your activity and physical conditions can also see to it that excess salt is flushed out of your body.
5) Different varieties of cheese, including cheddar and parmesan, have high salt content. Reduce their intake over time or look for low-salt varieties.

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