Salt (NaCl) is a mineral composed of about 40% sodium and 60% chloride. It is used to add flavor to foods. Sodium is crucial for flawless muscle and nerve functions. Both chloride and sodium help the body in maintaining proper water and mineral balance.
This article will reveal what happens to the body if we take excessive salt along with the effects of a salt-rich diet.
Promotes Blood Pressure
Salt-rich meals cause a larger blood volume to flow through our blood vessels and arteries. This results in a rise in blood pressure. Intake of high concentration of salt while going through aging and obesity amplifies the blood pressure-raising effects.
As the kidneys wish to maintain a specific sodium-to water ratio in the body. For this, they hold on to extra water to compensate for the extra sodium intake. This increased water retention may result in swelling, inflation in the hands and feet, and cause weight gain.
Eating a salty meal prevails dryness and makes us feel thirsty. The resulting increase in fluid intake can cause to urinate more than usual. On the other side, failing to consume fluids after eating high amounts of salt may cause the body’s sodium levels to rise above a safe level, that condition is known as hypernatremia. Hypernatremia can cause water to drain out of cells and into blood, it dilutes the excess sodium. If this left untreated, this fluid shift can result in confusion, seizures, coma, and even death.
Provokes Risk of Stomach Cancer
Extensive studies link a high salt diet to a higher risk of stomach cancer. A review including more than 268,000 participants suggests that those with median intakes of 3 grams per day may have up to a 68% higher risk of stomach cancer than those with median intakes of 1 gram per day.
The phenomenon behind salt’s effect on stomach cancer isn’t fully understood. It may be causing ulcers or inflammation of the stomach.
Stimulate onset of heart diseases and premature death
The link between salt-rich diets, heart disease, and premature death is still somewhat disputed. High salt intakes cause a rise in blood pressure and hardening of blood vessels and arteries. In turn, these changes may cause a higher risk of heart diseases and premature death.
Salt Requirement Dosage
The requirement people to consume amounts of salt is nearing (0.5–1 gram per kg) of body weight. This would amount to 35–70 grams of salt (2–4 tablespoons) for a person weighing 70 kg. The health authorities generally recommend people limit their sodium intake to 1,500–2,300 mg per day. This is equivalent to 3.8–5.8 grams of salt each day, or 2/3–1 teaspoon.
How to control excessive intake
There are a few ways in which we can help our body compensate for a high salt meal.
- Make sure you drink plenty of water to help your body regain its desired sodium-to-water ratio.
- Try eating foods that are rich in potassium, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and dairy. Together with sodium, potassium is a nutrient that plays a vital role in maintaining the body’s fluid balance.
- Focus your efforts on consuming more fresh, minimally processed foods is likely your best bet when trying to reduce the amount of salt.
Cover Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay
Hi! I am Madiha Anwar. Reading books and pursue skills is my passion since my childhood. Always dream to serve homo-sapiens along with this knowledge. Being a medical student I would love to write on health suggestions. I desire that articles bring a healthy change in your life. Stay tuned & stay healthy!