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About Calories in Salt

Salt is a kind of seasoning that is universally used in all kinds of savoury and spicy food items around the world. When people talk about the salt used in foods, they mean table salt, which is a chemical compound called sodium chloride or NaCl. While table salt is the most commonly used seasoning across the world, there are also other kinds of salt that are used to prepare food. Some common examples of such edible salts include kosher salt, Himalayan pink salt, black salt and sea salt. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the calories in salt and in different food items that contain salt. 

How Many Calories Does Salt Have?

If you are watching your diet and counting your calories, it can help to know the calories in salt. So, let’s take a closer look at how much energy salt offers. In addition to this, you can also check out the nutrient profile of table salt. 

Nutrients in 1 teaspoon of table salt (weighing 6 grams)

Amount or quantity 

Calories

Total fat

0 grams

Cholesterol

0 grams

Carbohydrates

0 grams

Protein

0 grams

Potassium

0.5 milligrams

Sodium

2,325 milligrams

Calcium

1.4 milligrams

As you can see from the table above, table salt has no calories. So, whether you wish to count the calories in a pinch of salt or the calories in 100 grams of salt, the answer is always zero.

Calories in Common Food Items with Salt

Salt may have zero calories by itself. But it is added to different food items that use a variety of other ingredients. And the addition of other ingredients means the addition of calories too. So, if you consume foods seasoned with salt, then you’ll no doubt want to know how many calories you are consuming. So, take a look at the calories in common food items that are seasoned with salt.

Food items containing salt

Number of calories

Poha (100 grams)

110

Idli (1 piece)

39 

Buttermilk (100 grams)

40

Dosa (1 medium-sized)

135

Puri (1 large)

85

Samosa (1 piece)

140

Medu vada (1 piece)

70

Vegetable biryani (1 cup)

200

Mutton biryani (1 cup)

225

Vegetable pulao (100 grams)

130

Sambar (1 cup)

150

Health Benefits of Eating Salt

Depending on your diet, you, no doubt, consume a fair amount of salt each day. Have you ever stopped to think about the advantages of this seasoning? How does salt help your body? And what are its health benefits? If this is what you are wondering now, here is a closer look at the top health benefits of eating salt. 

  • Regulates thyroid function

The thyroid gland helps regulate the body’s metabolism. And in order to function correctly, the thyroid needs iodine. Lack of iodine can interfere with your body’s production of the thyroid hormone and lead to weight gain and lethargy. Fortunately, the iodine content in iodized table salt helps regulate the function of the thyroid gland in the body. 

  • Prevents low blood pressure

Sodium is an essential nutrient that helps maintain the right level of blood pressure in the body. A dip in the body’s sodium levels can lead to low blood pressure. Thankfully, salt is rich in sodium content. So, eating the recommended amount of salt on a daily basis keeps your blood pressure well-regulated. 

  • Helps avoid muscle cramps

Lack of salt in your diet upsets the delicate balance of electrolytes in the human body. Sodium levels dip, iodine falls below the required level and the body becomes dehydrated, in general. This can lead to muscle stiffness, particularly if you engage in any high-energy activities like running or working out. Eating salt helps restore the balance of electrolytes, thus preventing muscle cramps.

  • Keeps you hydrated

The electrolyte balance in the body, which depends on the consumption of salt, also plays a key role in how hydrated your body is. And the intake of salt keeps your body hydrated adequately. Hydration is necessary for your cells, tissues and muscles. It also keeps your skin and your hair healthy too. Being dehydrated, on the other hand, can lead to dizziness and fatigue.

How Much Salt Should You Consume Every Day?

The National Health Service (NHS) recommends that adults should not eat more than 6 grams of salt or 1 teaspoon of salt each day. The recommended limits for children are even lower, as listed below.

  • Children aged between 1 to 3 years should not eat more than 2 grams of salt a day

  • Children aged between 4 to 6 years should not eat more than 3 grams of salt a day

  • Children aged between 7 to 10 years should not eat more than 5 grams of salt a day

  • Children aged 11 years or older should not eat more than 6 grams of salt a day

As for babies, it is not advisable to feed them salt, since their kidneys may not be developed fully yet. This could make salt hard to process for babies. 

Conclusion

When eaten within the recommended limit, salt can not only be beneficial to the body, but it is also essential. And since there are no calories in salt, you can easily consume the recommended limit without worrying about your body weight increasing or your body mass index (BMI) changing. A healthy BMI is very important, since it keeps your body healthy overall. Additionally, consuming the recommended amount of salt also keeps your metabolic rate at the right level.
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FAQs on Calories in Salt

  • ✔️Is it safe to consume salt with every meal?

    Yes, as long as your daily intake remains within the recommended limit. If you are eating too much salt, then it is essential to reduce your daily intake.

  • ✔️Does eating salt make me gain weight?

    No, eating salt does not make you gain weight, because salt has no calories. However, you need to keep an eye on the calories in the foods that contain salt, because that could add up and lead to excess calorie consumption.

  • ✔️Is too much salt intake dangerous?

    Eating too much salt can lead to water retention and bloating. This can also put excess pressure on your body’s blood vessels, leading to poor cardiovascular health.

  • ✔️Can salt help prevent muscle cramps?

    Yes, salt helps prevent muscle cramping.

  • ✔️How much sodium does salt contain?

    6 grams of salt contains 2,325 milligrams of sodium.