Salt during pregnancy: How much is too much

salt during pregnancy

Salt is standard in our day to day meals and that is a good thing. Salt intake is vital for the body to function properly, especially during pregnancy. The issue is when we go aboard, and that is easy because it is not just the table salt we add raw but also the salt hidden in most food items. So one must be careful of the amount of salt one consumes during pregnancy.

Why do you need salt during pregnancy?

The sodium of salt is critical to the body because it regulates the fluid levels, temperature and pH levels of our body. It also ensures that our muscles, nerves and organs are functioning just like they should. Pregnancy means increased blood flow and thus sodium is of far more importance now to balance everything. Also iodine (present in most salts – iodized salts) is critical to ensuring low risks of stillbirth, miscarriage and abnormal brain development of the foetus.

How much salt should I consume during pregnancy?

The recommended amount of salt to be consumed on a daily basis is 6gm which is approximately 1tsp. This of course does not apply if you are suffering from hypertension. It is quite easy and common to consume way more than this amount though.

Increased salt intake causes:

  • The more the salt, the more the sodium and thus more the body retains water to flush out all the sodium, the result – swelling of the face, hands, legs, ankles and feet.
  • Too much water retained increases pressure of blood running through the veins and arteries. So the body works harder than it should now resulting in high blood pressure which in turn could lead to stroke, heart and kidney failure, osteoporosis, etc.

So don’t just be careful about the salt you add to the food or the raw salt you take on your dish, keep a watch on the label for salt count.