Warning signs of eating too much salt side effects, that most people ignore. Salt is a spice that most of us use in our daily diet. As with everything else, the golden rule of moderation in its consumption applies here.
Table salt contains 40 percent sodium and 60 percent chloride, which means that each teaspoon of salt contains 2,000 milligrams of sodium.
But the average salt intake in real life is at least twice the recommended daily allowance. According to the latest diet tips, it is recommended to take 2,300 milligrams of sodium (1 teaspoon) daily.
However, it is estimated that our average daily intake is approximately 3,400 milligrams of sodium.
Excess salt can cause hypernatremia and lead to serious health problems over time. Excessive salt intake can lead to long-term consequences for human health.
It is for this reason that you need to pay more attention to the signals that your body gives you to inform you that you are consuming too much salt.
9 signals when we consume too much salt
In today’s article, we will find out what the signals are when we consume excessive amounts of salt.
Increased feeling of thirst
Sodium makes you thirsty because too much disrupts the fluid balance in your cells. Foods high in sodium (chips, sauces, pizza, etc.) will affect the balance in your body and make you thirsty.
As our salt intake increases, our brain signals that we need water and that makes us thirsty. The sodium in salt helps maintain fluid balance in your body.
When you eat too much salt, your body needs more fluids to cleanse your system so that your muscles and other organs can function properly.
This is the way your body adjusts its sodium-water ratio, and water is the best way to get things back to normal.
Swelling after ingesting too much salt
The feeling of bloating after ingesting too much sodium is due to fluid retention. At the same time, it makes you feel uncomfortable and increases blood volume.
Eventually, all of this leads to your heart having to work harder. If your knees, legs are swollen or your eyes are swollen, you are probably consuming too much salt in the morning.
The condition when your body begins to retain extra water as a result of high doses of salt is called edema and should be treated with a very restrictive diet.
Craving for very salty foods
The desire to eat salty can be a strong warning sign that you are getting too much salt in your body.
This can lead to moderately salty foods becoming sticky over time as if they are not salty.
Because of this feeling, you will want to consume even more salt, in larger quantities.
Changes in urination
As a rule, storing sodium in your body causes serious changes in urination that can occur for two reasons:
Consuming a lot of salt causes the kidneys to work overtime to remove it from the body.
This can result in kidney disease which usually makes the urine completely transparent.
Too much sodium in your body can be the result of fluid loss, which often leads to dehydration.
When there is significant water loss in the body, the amount of urine decreases and has a thick dark yellow color.
Salt intake can be a major obstacle to a healthy skeleton. When you eat too much salt, the kidneys can not completely flush it out, and this significantly increases calcium loss.
Chronic calcium deficiency can result in weak bones, dental problems, and even the development of osteoporosis.
Maintaining a proper sodium-potassium balance is crucial to your health, as these chemical elements are responsible for muscle contraction.
If you upset the balance with excessive use of salt you may feel cramps or tension and pain in your muscles.
Constant headache if you eating too much salt
Excessive sodium consumption increases blood volume, so it takes up more space in the blood vessels.
This dilation of blood vessels causes high blood pressure (hypertension) and as a result, can cause severe headaches.
Hypertension caused by high salt intake can damage the arteries that lead to your brain.
This can affect your ability to think clearly and make it harder for you to concentrate on everyday tasks.
In addition, constant dehydration can lead to poor memory, fatigue, and a slow reaction.
High blood pressure
Salt has a bad effect on your kidneys, as it forces your body to retain more fluid.
Excess fluid leads to other problems such as high blood pressure and strains your kidneys, arteries, heart, and brain.
To cope with this extra effort, the small muscles in the arteries become stronger and thicker.
But this, unfortunately, narrows the arteries and raises the blood pressure even more.
Long-term consequences of excessive salt consumption
Your body is trying to warn you by sending signals before you do serious harm, and that is why you need to pay more attention.
Long-term intake of too much salt can affect your kidneys, bones, heart, skin, and stomach.
Osteoporosis, kidney stones, bloating and stomach cancer are some of the most serious consequences of excessive salt consumption.
Elevated blood pressure has been shown to be a leading cause of cardiovascular disease.
We have previously seen the link between increased salt intake and high blood pressure. Hypertension is the cause of two-thirds of all heart disease and stroke.
In China, for example, high blood pressure is the cause of premature death of 1 million people a year.
It has been shown that different individuals react differently to the amounts of salt or sodium ingested. Genetics is thought to be responsible for this.
Those who are “sensitive” to salt, have the greatest results in lowering blood pressure after reducing salt in the diet.
Those who are “resistant” to salt and a diet rich in salt, do not experience significant increases in blood pressure.
However, although there is no consensus on the optimal daily salt intake for the reasons explained, the summary data obtained from several studies indicate that there is a benefit of limiting salt intake for all individuals in general.
Osteoporosis and salt
The amount of calcium that the body loses through urination increases with increasing salt intake through the diet. If calcium is in smaller amounts in the blood, then it is taken up by the bones.
Thus, a high-salt diet can have an additional side effect – bone loss, a condition known as osteoporosis.
A study of postmenopausal women found that hip bone loss over 2 years was directly related to sodium excretion within 24 hours of the start of the study.
This was also directly related to the intake and level of calcium in the blood.
Another study found that reduced salt intake leads to a positive balance of calcium in the blood, which reduces the loss of calcium from the bones that inevitably occur in the aging process.
Some research has linked increased salt intake to stomach cancer.
The World Cancer Research Foundation and the American Institute for Cancer Research also suggest that increased salt intake increases the risk of stomach cancer.
Advice for daily salt intake
Controlling the amount of salt you eat on a daily basis is very easy. All you need to do is have good discipline and self-control, the rest will come back to normal.
Avoid processed foods
Avoid bad habits of eating fast and processed food often. Instead, try to eat fresh produce and home-cooked food.
Check the amount of sodium on the food declaration
It is good to see what the food product you are buying contains. Most people in their food choices only care about the number of calories, sugar, and maybe nutrients like vitamins.
But, therefore, you should and must pay attention to the amount of sodium in their composition.
Because some products may seem nutritious and beneficial but contain too much sodium which can be harmful to your health.
Consider other spices you can consume, salt is not the only option. You can enrich the taste with lemon juice and vinegar, or pepper or red pepper.
Do not avoid too much salt
While it is true that too much sodium can be harmful to your health, you should not overdo it.
Intake of a teaspoon of salt is welcome for our body, as well as everything else that is eaten in moderation.
Depriving yourself of the mineral can do as much damage to you as excessive intake.
Too much salt is harmful, but also too little
Excessive salt intake is known to be associated with increased blood pressure and an increased risk of heart problems.
But according to a new study by Canadian scientists published in the journal Lancet, too little salt is also harmful.
Scientists say that insufficient salt intake, compared to average intake values, can also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
The researchers analyzed data from more than 130,000 people in 49 countries and compared their salt intake with heart rate and stroke rates.
They found that it was higher among people who consumed too little salt, which they defined as less than three grams per day, which is about one teaspoon.
The human body needs small amounts of sodium, which is important for transmitting nerve impulses, for contractions and muscle relaxation, and for maintaining a proper balance of water and minerals.
It is estimated that every person needs 500mg of sodium per day to maintain these vital functions.
But too much sodium in your diet can cause problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and heart attack.
It can also cause a loss of calcium, which is most often lost from the bones, leading to bone disease.
Studies in the United States show that the average American consumes at least 1.5 teaspoons of salt per day, which translated into milligrams of sodium intake is 3400mg, which is close to 7 times more than necessary.
Recommended salt intake
The daily intake that is necessary to maintain vital functions, as we mentioned, is 500mg, which is too little to achieve with today’s diet.
The recommended daily allowance of salt varies from country to country. In the US it is 2.3 grams per day, while in the UK it is not recommended at more than 6 grams per day.
Intake of 500mg of sodium, ie just over 1g of salt per day and meeting other needs of the body, such as energy and other essential nutrients are practically impossible, especially considering that we do not take salt only as a supplement, spice, but also as part of other foods.
Hence, according to the World Health Organization, the optimal intake of sodium is 2g or about 4g of salt during the day.
American health institutions recommend an even lower intake – 1.5g of sodium.
Sodium and health
In most people, the kidneys have trouble coping with excess sodium in the blood. As sodium accumulates or accumulates, the body retains more water to dissolve it.
This causes a condition in which we have an increase in the fluid that surrounds the cells and an increase in the volume of blood flowing in the blood vessels.
Increasing blood volume means more work for the heart, ie the need for greater pressure to move blood, and thus increased blood pressure.
Over time, this increased workload of the heart can weaken blood vessels and the heart, lead to chronic hypertension or high blood pressure, and ultimately lead to heart attack and stroke.
There is evidence that excessive salt intake can damage the heart, aorta, and kidneys even without high blood pressure. It also has a negative effect on the bones.
Are “natural” salts healthier than ordinary table salt?
Salt is obtained as a mineral from salt mines or by evaporation of seawater. The term “natural” is often misused, and so it is in this case.
All types of salt are based on one chemical composition: sodium chloride.
Although less processed salt contains more other minerals, that extra amount is so small that it really makes no difference. The different salts are mainly chosen because of the taste component.
Kitchen salt is obtained by processing the ore for purification, and at the end, iodine and calcium silicate are often added (prevents clotting).
Iodization is done in order to overcome hypothyroidism, ie the lack of iodine that is necessary for the work of the thyroid gland.
It is very important, because of this mineral (iodine), that the salt is not stored outdoors, that salt stocks are not bought, and during cooking, that salt is added at the end, not at the beginning.
These are tips for preserving iodine in salt and are of particular importance.
Sea salt contains a higher percentage of other minerals than table salt because it is less processed. But may also contain heavy metals found in the ocean. That is why the manufacturers pay special attention to this part.
Himalayan (pink) salt is obtained from mines in Pakistan, contains small amounts of iron oxide, and also contains more minerals than table salt because it is less processed.