Does Adding Salt to Boiling Water Add Sodium to the Food?

Do you know how much sodium you’re actually eating each day? The recommended daily allowance of sodium is 2,300 milligrams per day, which is the sodium content of one teaspoon of table salt. However, the sodium intake of the majority of Americans is more than double that daily allowance. This is not an issue for some people, but two-thirds of adults are considered particularly sensitive to salt. For these individuals, blood pressure levels rise sharply in conjunction with an increase in sodium consumption. Medical professionals advise salt-sensitive individuals should attempt to keep their sodium intake below 1,500 milligrams per day.

Reducing your sodium intake is not always easy, because there is sodium, in a great number of pre-processed foods, much of which is hidden from consumers. Since Americans are so busy these days, pre-processed foods must be used occasionally.

One solution to the sodium issue is cooking more of your own fresh foods, but you must be careful. One common mistake is adding salt to the water in which you boil your pasta or vegetables. You may think that the amount of sodium added in this way is negligible, but it can make a difference if you cook many of your foods by boiling.

The Reason

Many people add salt to their water when boiling foods such as pasta, vegetables, rice and cereals. People have different reasons for doing so, but the main reason people give for adding salt to their water is because it is supposed to decrease the cooking times of foods. However, the change is so slight that it only saves mere seconds when it comes to food preparation time. This is really not much of a reason to add salt to your boiling water, when you realize that the impact on your sodium level can be greater than you think.

The Effect

Salt is water-soluble, which means it dissolves in water. During the process of boiling, most foods will absorb part or all of the liquid in which they are being boiled. If salt has been dissolved in the water you’re using for boiling, then your food is also absorbing the sodium. If you cook a large number of your foods by boiling, as many do, you could be increasing your sodium levels to an unhealthy range.

The best choice is to eliminate the salt entirely, but not everyone is ready to make that leap. In that case, a good alternative is to cook your food in plain water and then add a small amount of salt after it’s cooked. Your food will taste just as good, will cook in approximately the same amount of time and you will be adding much less sodium to your daily intake. Your body will thank you for it!


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