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What eating too much salt does to your body

05th January 2016 by admin


According to a recent report published by the CDC, most Americans eat more salt than recommended, putting their health at risk.

More than 89% of adults consume over 2,300 miligrams (1 teaspoon) of salt per day, exceeding the daily dose recommended in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

This is a serious issue, as about 70 million Americans suffer from high blood pressure, condition which can be triggered or worsened by an increased consumption of salt. Besides causing hypertension, eating too much sodium can also increase the risk for heart disease and stroke, and can impair the activity of your kidneys and brain.

The mentioned report showed sodium consumption peaks between ages 19 and 50, men eating more salt than women. People affected by high blood pressure eat slightly less salt than other adults, but 3/4 of those at increased risk for heart disease or stroke exceed the daily allowance.

According to CDC, more than 75% of the salt that Americans eat comes from processed, packaged or restaurant foods, hidden salt making it a lot harder for one to keep track and reduce the daily sodium consumption.

Besides causing hypertension, eating too much of this ingredient can also increase the risk for heart disease and stroke, and can impair the activity of your kidneys and brain. Given below are some of the negative effects of increased salt consumption on the human body.

Eating too much salt affects your kidneys, brain, bones and heart

It’s well known that consuming too much sodium favors water retention and the swelling of tissues in different areas of the body, and that in people who don’t hydrate themselves properly, excess salt consumption can cause dehydration, which manifests through dizziness, nausea, stomach cramps, thirst and tiredness.

However, these aren’t the most severe effects of increased salt consumption. Osteoporosis can also be triggered or worsened by this bad eating habit, as the amount of calcium that is lost via urination increases with the amount of salt consumed. When salt leaves the body, it takes calcium along with it, so the risk of osteoporosis increases, and one becomes more prone to kidney stones.

Although common, kidney stones can be painful and can lead to complications, from nausea and urination problems to kidney disease. When there’s too much salt in the bloodstream, the kidneys must work harder to restore the electrolyte and fluid balance, and this puts extra strain on the organs, altering their function in time.

High salt consumption increases the amount of protein in urine, which is another risk factor for kidney disease, and favors hypertension, which affects all blood vessels in your body, including the ones that serve the kidneys. Individuals who suffer from kidney disease should restrict the salt intake to prevent the deterioration of the renal function.

By disrupting the natural sodium balance of the body, a high salt diet increases blood pressure and the risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Stroke occurs when the blood supply to one part of the brain is cut off, or the flow is restricted. This prevents oxygen from reaching the nervous cells and causes their death. Reducing the intake of salt can decrease the risk for stroke, regardless of one’s blood pressure.

At the same time, eating less salt can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), condition that is more likely to occur in people with high blood pressure. If the blood pressure remains high for long periods, it can lead to the thickening of the heart muscle, and reduce the effectiveness of this organ. Also, it can cause the enlargement of the heart, while cutting back on salt can reduce ventricular hypertrophy and decrease the risk of CHD and heart attack.

If you want to improve your health and protect your body from the damaging effects of increased salt consumption, try to reduce the amount of sodium in your diet to 2,300 mg per day.

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