The Impact Of Salt On Your Kidneys

The Impact Of Salt On Your Kidneys

We are slowly but surely being poisoned to death! The salt and phosphorus that are universally being used as food preservatives. are slowly killing us by causing kidney disease, high blood pressure, heart disease and bone disease. More than 5000 years ago, ancient man discovered the preservative properties of salt but little did he realise then that salt was a sure shot recipe for a slow and silent death.

Similarly, in the 20th century, modem man realised the value of phosphorus in the baking, meat and cola industries, leading to a boom in the usage of phosphorus which causes kidney. bone and heart disorders!

Salt And Its Impact

Ancient man was a hunter and gatherer of food and would set off every morning from his home into the forest to bring food for his family. The wife would stay at home to cook, clean and take care of the children. One fine day. she accidentally discovered that salt enhanced the taste and flavour of the food. She also realised that food that was salted tended to remain fresh much longer.

This was the beginning of the usage of salt as a taste enhancer and preservative, The quality of life was markedly improved as this meant that both husband and wife could have cheat days When neither of them needed to work, but could still put food on the table!

Gradually, salt preservation of food for personal consumption evolved into salt preservation of food for trade purposes. Man discovered that he could transport food for long distances and exchange food items with his friends and neighbours as well. He could also sell food that was well-preserved.

The importance of this discovery is evident from historical records which show that salt was a precious commodity in early societies and sometimes even used as a form of currency! This is probably the origin of the common phrase, ‘worth his salt Interestingly, the word ‘salary’ is derived from the Latin word ‘salarium’ where ‘sal’ stands for salt.

Initially, the primary reason for adding salt to food was to utilize its antimicrobial properties as a preservative. Even with the advent of refrigeration and other methods of food preservation, salt continued to be used as a taste-enhancer and flavour intensifier. Further, salt is also used in fermentation, emulsification, leavening and enriching of foods.

Though most food items contain less amounts of natural salt, the salt additives increase the daily intake of salt by tenfold! Further. it is estimated that only 10 per cent of the daily salt intake comes from natural sources, while 75 per cent is derived from salt added to processed food by manufacturers and the remaining 15 per cent from salt added during cooking This ensures that the amount of salt in a standard Indian, Western or Chinese diet is more than ten times the daily recommended intake of salt!

Research has proven time and again that salt is directly responsible for heart disease, kidney disease and high blood pressure which causes multi-organ damage but salt additives in processed foods, represent the single greatest barrier to lowering salt intake and unfortunately, processed foods happen to be &leaper as well as more easily available than fresh food.

Hence, strict legislation is required to control the amount of salt in processed food. Currently, in the whole world, it is only in the USA, under the guidance of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) that attempts are being made to reduce the amount of salt added by the food manufacturing industry.

Phosphorus And Its Impact

Phosphorus is used for stabilization, leavening, emulsification, hydration and bactericidal actions. These properties of phosphorus are of great utility in the meat, baking and cola industries. With the emergence of the ‘fast food culture’ in the 1970s, phosphorus use boomed to massive proportions.

Marketing fast food as ‘cool and hip’ boosted the sales of fast food. Work stresses in the high-pressure, cutthroat corporate world of the 20th-century offices, dictated that more people consumed fast food than fresh food which markedly increased the daily intake of phosphorus.

High phosphorus intake causes bone damage leading to osteoporosis and fractures. Phosphorus causes blood vessels to harden and narrow, leading to heart attacks, brain strokes and limb gangrene. Excess phosphorus also leads to high blood pressure and independently worsens kidney disease.

Unfortunately, food manufacturers are not required to list the quantity of phosphorus additives in their food items (unlike salt, which is well regulated), Therefore, stringent regulations need to be formed at a governmental level to restrict the intake of these toxic chemicals. Until then, the onus is on us as individuals to minimise foods containing these substances as preservatives, because in the act of preserving our food, we might just be endangering our kidneys and our lives!

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