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Reduce Salt Intake, Reduce Life Insurance, Live Longer

Jul 24, 2008
As life insurance companies and doctors all well know, salt is a killer. It is one of those difficult killers because it is something we cannot avoid. We can die from too little just as we can die from too much and, depending on our health, it can be a fine balancing act. In fact, 14,000 die each year from overdosing on salt and it has even been used in murder cases, particularly with children.

However, it can be said that we get enough in our everyday diet without adding it to cooking and this is where many people go wrong. Much of the salt in our diet is also derived from convenience food. This contains massive amounts of hidden salt that people are unaware of eating and is one of the reasons why, if our life insurance application forms state that we eat out regularly, then our premiums will be raised as well as our blood pressure.

High blood pressure is one of the detrimental aspects that consuming too much salt can do to our health. This puts extra strain on our hearts and also on our kidneys. It can lead to heart disease if we continue with this habit over the years.

Too much salt will also lead to oedema and heartburn which, while not life threatening, will make our lives uncomfortable and unpleasant. At the other end of the scale, it can also cause osteoporosis, asthma and ulcers. These are all life threatening conditions and it only takes one gram of salt per kilogram of body weight to be ingested in a short period of time for this to bring about sudden death.

Producing salt is big business with much of the world's salt coming from Europe. It is produced from the evaporation of seawater and in this form is virtually pure sodium chloride. Sea salt is healthier for us as it contains other minerals instead of concentrated sodium but still has all the flavour and can be used in the granulated form or ground down.

Flavouring is one of the main reason salt is used in the diet. Many manufacturers add too much salt to food to give it an addictive quality and to also add some flavouring when food is a little bland. However, it is this salt that many people are unaware of taking in and much of what does the damage.

To this end, The Food Standards Agency have recently put pressure on food manufacturers, Heinz and Kelloggs to reduce the amount of salt in their foods. They are also looking closely at bread, ready meals, cakes and savoury snacks to see what can be done to make the nation healthier. The food manufacturers see this as a way of those with power dictating decisions over what people should and shouldn't eat but it's not like there is anything to be gained from this advice other than healthier people.

It's no wonder that this advice is being issued now. Research suggests that our average daily intake of salt is currently 43% above the recommended amount and it is, in fact, killing people. Those already susceptible to heart and kidney problems will not be able to cope with this overload and in the long run, their families will be making claims on their life insurance because of it.
About the Author
Healthcare expert Catherine Harvey looks at how our life insurance premiums can be lowered if we reduce the salt in our diets .
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