Salt During Pregnancy

Salt During Pregnancy

Salt plays an important role in our diet as it is rich in sodium which helps in maintaining the fluid level and pH balance in our body. It is also very important for you during pregnancy, because it helps in the development of the baby in the womb. However, consuming too much salt can lead to a number of health issues, especially during pregnancy. Do you also want to know how much salt you should consume during pregnancy? So in this article, you have been given information related to the craving to eat salt during pregnancy. Let us know why it is necessary to consume salt during pregnancy.

Why is salt intake important during pregnancy?

Salt is the main source of dietary sodium for us. Do you know that sodium deficiency during pregnancy can be dangerous for you or your baby? Here’s why it is important to consume salt during pregnancy:

Salt During Pregnancy
Salt During Pregnancy
  • Due to lack of salt, your nerves, muscles and organs are not able to function properly during pregnancy, because due to not consuming enough amount of salt, you start feeling very tired and weak.
  • During pregnancy, your body fluids increase to support your growing baby, and sodium plays a key role in this.
  • The iodine present in salt is essential for the development of your baby’s brain and nervous system.
  • Iodine deficiency during pregnancy can lead to stillbirth, abnormal brain development, miscarriage, and other medical complications. According to a study, consuming insufficient amount of salt during pregnancy causes the problem of low birth weight in the child.

Therefore, salt is essential for your body during pregnancy. However, it should be consumed in limited quantity only. Continue reading to know the amount of salt you can consume during pregnancy.

How much salt is safe to consume during pregnancy

Above, we told you how important it is to consume salt during pregnancy, but in limited quantities, neither too much salt should be consumed nor too little salt should be consumed. During pregnancy, you should consume sodium through 3.8 grams of table salt daily. Keep in mind that pregnant women should not consume more than 5.8 grams of salt at all.

Side effects of excessive salt intake during pregnancy 

As it is said that consuming anything in excess is harmful for you, in the same way this thing also applies while consuming salt. Here are the side effects of consuming too much sodium during pregnancy:

  • Consuming too much salt can lead to water retention, apart from causing excessive swelling in your ankles, feet, toes and face.
  • Increasing the amount of salt in your diet can lead to high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia.
  • Consuming excessive amount of salt leads to loss of calcium from the body through urine.

Let us now look at some food items that are high in salt and consuming it during pregnancy can put you at risk of health issues.

foods high in salt

Here are some foods that contain high amounts of salt/sodium, which may be bad for you, especially during pregnancy:

1. Sweetend Beverage

You may find it a bit strange to hear, but sweetened beverages are high in sodium, which can cause problems during pregnancy. So use caution when consuming any energy drink or sports performance drink, as they can contain up to 200 milligrams of sodium.

2. Breakfast Cereal 

Most breakfast cereals have high sodium levels. Consuming a normal cup of cornflakes or oatmeal adds 200 milligrams of sodium to the body. , 

3. Sauce

Have you ever wondered how much sodium can be found in ketchup, soy sauce or barbeque sauce? All of these foods contain high levels of sodium, with each serving containing about 150 to 200 milligrams of sodium. By consuming these foods in excess, it can exceed the recommended amount of sodium you can consume on a daily basis.

4. Bread and Buns

Many pregnant women prefer to eat bread during breakfast and sometimes as a mid-morning or evening snack. You get about 150 mg of sodium from one slice of bread. So, the next time you reach for a donut or a bagel, be careful and don’t overdo it.

After getting all this information, you may be a little worried, but salt is not the only food item that provides you with sodium during pregnancy. There are many foods that contain a lot of sodium, but then it is healthy to consume them. Let’s know what they are.

Healthy Sources of Sodium

As told to you earlier, during pregnancy, your sodium level does not increase only through salt. Here are some other healthy sources of sodium for you:

  • Unsalted nuts, pickles, marmalade
  • poultry
  • fish
  • fruits like apples, cranberries
  • plain yogurt
  • eggs
  • Milk
  • vegetables such as beets, celery, carrots

It is normal to have cravings for certain foods during pregnancy. But, a pregnant woman cannot consume all the things that she is craving for, as it can affect the health of both the mother and the child. Craving for salt is also like this. Mostly, it can be difficult not to consume table salt at all. Then what should you do? Here are some tips specially for this, which can help you reduce your salt intake. Let’s know.

Tips to reduce salt intake during pregnancy

Below are some tips for you to reduce your sodium intake during pregnancy:

  • Check the labels of the foods you consume, as sometimes sweetened snacks and beverages contain high levels of sodium.
  • Try to eat only home cooked food. This way you will not only be eating healthy food, but will also be able to keep a tab on the amount of salt you are consuming.
  • Always choose fresh fruits and vegetables for snacking, as packaged snacks are high in sodium.
  • Use seasonings without salt when preparing your food.

Now, let us turn to some more questions/concerns related to salt and its consumption during pregnancy.

Can You Eat Black Salt During Pregnancy?

Yes, you can consume black salt during pregnancy as it helps in providing relief from stomach disorders, heartburn and constipation. However, if you have high blood pressure or any other medical condition that requires you to limit your salt intake, it is recommended that you consult your doctor before consuming black salt. .

salt cravings during pregnancy 

You may have food cravings during pregnancy, which you may not even think about. Whether you already like salty food or not, there are high chances that you will crave salty food during pregnancy. However, sudden cravings for salt are normal and consuming a little extra sodium will not harm your baby. But, if you have cravings to eat excessively salty food during pregnancy, then it is advised that you should ask your doctor about it.

Is it normal to eat salt during pregnancy?

Many women have cravings for salt during pregnancy. It has been observed that the craving for salt increases during the first trimester of pregnancy. It is absolutely normal to have a craving for salt during pregnancy. However, it should be consumed in a limited quantity only.

What is the reason for increased salt craving in pregnant women?

According to various theories, it is observed that the reason for salt craving in pregnant women is that their body needs more fluid to support the baby. The presence of sodium in salt helps retain fluid in the body, which is why pregnant women crave salty foods. Also, due to increased progesterone and morning sickness, pregnant women flush out sodium through urine and vomiting, which makes them crave for something salty.

What to do when you have a salt craving

Craving for salty food is normal during pregnancy. You are advised to satisfy your cravings in a healthy way, such as having vegetable soups or pickles. However, if you have any health issues, you should limit your salt intake. You are also advised to talk to your doctor and ask what would be better for you to eat.

Salt gives flavor to your food, so we cannot skip it completely. If you do not have any contraindications related to the consumption of salt during pregnancy, then you can eat many wonderful dishes. But at the same time it is advised that you should consume salt in a limited amount, else it can create problems for you and your baby. Secondly, if your doctor has told you to reduce your salt intake, it is suggested that you follow it and follow a healthy diet to avoid any problems during pregnancy.