Cut back on Salt, Experts Advise

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Updated 21 November 2012

Cut back on Salt, Experts Advise

We eat many things everyday without knowing their effects on our health. Salt is a very important ingredient in our daily food intake, whether it is in the form of fruit salt, vegetable salt, or the salt we consume in cooked food. 
It might come as a surprise to some people, that it’s not the salt we add to our meals, but also the salt inside many food products, that could be putting our health at risk. 
According to the experts too much salt can increase the risk of high blood pressure, and create coronary heart disease. From the doctors and nutrition experts’ point of view, it is important not to take more than the recommended amount of salt for a healthy heart. 
“Reducing salt intake helps to reduce blood pressure levels. While a higher intake of salt causes a plethora of health problems like hypertension, heart diseases (heart failure), stroke, kidney failure, bloating and other health problems.” Said Dr. Syed Anwar Khursheed, ICU Physician at King Faisal Hospital Taif.
He further said table salt is composed of 40 percent sodium and 60 percent chloride. The maximum recommended level of sodium intake for adults is 2,300 mg per day, which is equal to one scant teaspoon of salt. 
Arab News talked to a few people, who suffer from high blood pressure, to learn more about what their doctors recommended, and the types of problems they face. 
According to Sayed Vaseeq, a travel agent who has been suffering from high blood pressure for the past 5 years, “It is very important to closely monitor your diet if you have high blood pressure, especially your salt intake, as the slightest increase of salt in your food, can have detrimental health consequences. One must especially be careful when eating in restaurants because the food tends to be saltier.” 
Vaseeq further added, “for expatriates living away from their families, monitoring the food we eat, and ensuring we don’t consume too much salt, is more difficult because we tend to eat in restaurants most of the time.” He also added, that the lifestyle in Saudi Arabia makes it all the more challenging to remain healthy as physical activity is limited. 
“My doctor recommended that I walk everyday, but because I work a double-shift job, I can’t go for long walks but I always try to go for short walks as I feel it is very beneficial to my health, ” he said. 
Abu Ahmed, another high blood pressure patient said his blood pressure problem was controlled by medication. However, despite taking a daily pill, his doctor stressed that he should lower his salt consumption. ” I use salt alternatives, because I personally enjoy food that is salty, and haven’t been able to change my food preference. Salt alternatives are available in the market, and do not have adverse effects on the health,” he said. 
 Tanzeem Saleem Al-Rahman suffers from both high blood pressure and diabetes, and is on medication. However despite his doctor’s repeated advice to lower his salt intake and to watch his diet, he is unable to reduce the amount of salt in his food, because food doesn’t taste good to him without salt. 
“I know I shouldn’t be doing this, as I have recently also suffered from kidney problems. I am trying really hard to cut down on my salt intake, but it remains very difficult for me,” said Al-Rahman. 
Nutrition experts advise people to watch out for food like chips, salted nuts, canned sauces and soups, black beans and canned vegetables when grocery shopping.  Experts also warn about all ready-made meals as they typically contain a lot of salt, as do some types of breads, cereals, cakes and biscuits. 
As such, nutritionists advice us to carefully read the nutrition labels when purchasing food, and encourage us to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. 
According to Khairunissa Khan a mother, our food intake and lifestyle are key to leading a healthy life. “As a mother, I try to instill healthy eating habits within my children at an early age, and I encourage any type of physical activity. It is very unfortunate how the levels of child obesity and diabetes are on the rise in the Kingdom.
“I also try to pay close attention to the food labels and nutrition facts on the items I purchase from the supermarket, to ensure they do not contain more than the recommended GDA for salt. Adding salt to food while cooking is a hard habit to break, however I try to cut down on the amount of salt I use in preparing my family’s meals, and I avoid putting salt on the dining table,” Khan added. 

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Baby Talk: Hearing test for your baby

The test measures how your baby responds to sound. (Shutterstock)
Updated 20 January 2020

Baby Talk: Hearing test for your baby

  • When hearing loss is found early, treatment can begin right away to prevent long-term problems
  • The test measures how your baby responds to sound

DUBAI: A major part of a baby’s development and learning is through hearing. If your baby has a hearing problem and it is not found, your baby will have a hard time learning words and how to talk. When hearing loss is found early, treatment can begin right away to prevent long-term problems.

Hearing Test

As a part of your baby’s care, a hearing test will be done. The test measures how your baby responds to sound. It takes about 10 minutes and can be done while he or she is sleeping.

A small probe is placed in or near the baby’s ear. It sends soft clicking sounds into the ear.


Small pads may be put on your baby’s head. These measure how the baby’s brain responds to the sounds.

The Results

The results of the hearing test will be given to you and to your baby’s doctor. If your baby does have hearing loss, you will get more information about treatment and resources, and more tests will be done.

If you have any questions about having your baby’s hearing tested, talk to your baby’s doctor or nurse.

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