Salt may make your food taste better, but adding too much salt to your food can actually harm your health. Do you know that food companies actually add salt to make you crave for their food? Salt actually keeps you addicted, sick and unhealthy.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), you should eat about 1,500-2,400 mg of salt every day. However, Americans consume an average of 3,400 mg per day, and most of this intake comes from processed products. This increases the risk of developing health problems, because processed foods are poor in nutrients and high in calories and salt.
A study released in The New England Journal of Medicine, reveals that about 1.65 million deaths across the globe are caused by unhealthy sodium consumption. In America, 10 percent of all heart-related deaths are caused by excessive sodium intake. Of course, you won’t die from the salt only, but it increases your risk of other diseases and health problems.
We give you some of the problems you will have if you eat too much salt:
1. Kidney problems
Sodium increases the risk of forming kidney stones as it increases the level of calcium in urine which is considered a contribution factor in the process. High salt intake leads to water retention as the body tries to dilute the sodium. The body is designed to remove excess fluids by filtering blood in kidneys and draw water out of the blood. High sodium intake affects the process, and kidneys remove less water, and you end up dealing with high blood pressure. This leads to kidney failure as the blood pressure goes up to accommodate the salt, and affects arteries that go all the way to kidneys.
Eating too much salt increases the risk of hypertension. Salt leads to water retention, and the heart is forced to pump harder. This adds more strain and pressure to internal organs, and causes heart disease, stroke, dementia, cardiovascular disease, and other problems.
Sodium causes water retention. High sodium intake leads to water retention in other parts of the body. It’s called edema. Swellings may occur in the feet, legs and hands. Water retention doesn’t happen overnight, and eventually leads to chronic bloating.
4. Brain fog
Excess salt is among the things that cause cognitive impairment. A study released in the Neurobiology of Aging in 2011, confirmed that those who eat too much salt and sit for too long experience cognitive decline. Brain fog is one of the first signs of inflammation, and it may be caused by excess salt. Those who eat too much salt don’t drink a lot of water, and dehydration is also a contributing factor of cognitive disturbances.
Human body loses calcium through urine. The more salt you eat, the more calcium you lose. Insufficient calcium levels make the body draw calcium out of bones, leading to osteoporosis.
Limit your salt intake
– Eliminate processed foods from your diet as they contain too much salt and small amount of nutrients.
– Increased your potassium intake. Potassium lowers blood pressure and neutralizes the effect of sodium. Take 3,500-4,700 mg per day. Add more bananas, sweet potatoes, spinach, avocados and tomatoes.
– Prepare your food at home and don’t use too much salt. Buy salt-free seasonings and control the use of salt.
– Eat more fresh fruits, veggies and grass-fed meat. Avoid canned foods or at least buy products without any salt added.