This is an article you should read through concisely and definitely not take with a pinch of salt. Okay, our prowess at joke delivery may be debatable, but we at Calgary Family Clinic make it our continuous work to consistently dish out the best health and lifestyle advice to enable you lead a fulfilling and all-encompassing life. Today, we’ll be tackling the unhealthy demerits of excess salt consumption. Now straight to the business of the day;
While salt is something that many may consider an essential condiment to have in their food, it is necessary to keep a check on how much salt you consume. Consuming too much salt can have serious negative effects on your health. It increases your blood pressure and some studies suggest that it is linked to cognitive decline as well. Research shows that on an average, our daily salt intake should be 6 grams. But most people consume 7.2 grams of salt every day.
Here are some of the signs that you are consuming too much salt:
You need to urinate a lot
Frequent urination is a classic sign that you are consuming too much salt. Most of the time, you may feel an urgent need to wake up in the middle of the night to urinate. However, it is a symptom of many other conditions like UTIs, type 2 diabetes and an overactive bladder. Take a test be sure of what exactly the root cause is. Nevertheless, consuming too much salt could be a reason for it.
Swelling in strange places
Consuming too much salt can give you swelling in different parts of the body. This could be a reason why you feel bloated in the morning. The swelling can be felt on the fingers and around the ankles. This swelling is caused by excessive fluids in the body’s tissues and is known as edema. Edema is believed to be a symptom of an underlying health condition or a sign of the fact that you are consuming too much salt. Simple solution for this is to cut down on your sodium intake.
Consuming too much salt can leave you feeling thirsty most of the time. This happens because foods with high sodium content mess with your body’s fluid balance. The best way to make up for this is to drink lots of water. Your body continues to give you a signal that it needs more water to restore salt balance in your body.
Frequent mild headaches
Do you experience mild headaches every now and then? Chances are that these headaches are dehydration-induced. Consuming too much salt is likely to give you headaches in short intervals due to dehydration. Drink lots of water to beat these headaches.
You find food bland and boring
Do you feel the need to add more salt to your food every now and then? Do you continuously find food bland and boring? Well, that’s probably because you are used to eating too much salt. Over time, your taste buds adapt to that flavor and that is where your need to add more salt to food comes from.
You crave for salty foods
When your taste buds adapt to salty flavors, it craves for the same again and again. You suddenly feel the need to eat salted peanuts, chips and other salty treats.
WHY SHOULD YOU CUTBACK ON YOUR SALT INTAKE?
The simple answer is that salt is associated with higher blood pressure. About 50 to 70 million people in the U.S. alone have hypertension, and all of them would benefit from a low-salt diet.
The amount of salt that is available today, just like the amount of sugar that is available today, is far beyond what we were meant to have in our diets.
Excess sodium increases blood pressure because it holds excess fluid in the body, and that creates an added burden on the heart. Too much sodium will increase your risk of stroke, heart failure, osteoporosis, stomach cancer and kidney disease.
Limiting your sodium is tough because about 75 percent of sodium in our typical diets comes from processed or prepared foods, not salt that we add at the table. If you’re a savvy nutrition label reader, it can be shocking.
Even foods such as breads and cereals can have high amounts of salt. We call it a silent killer because a lot of people don’t realize they have high blood pressure.
The average person eats about 3,400 milligrams sodium a day, but the recommended amount for a healthy person is 2,300 milligrams a day. So the reality is most people are consuming double what they need in terms of salt.
Excess salt is has been linked to hypertension, and of course hypertension is a risk for heart disease. Some populations of people are very sodium sensitive, meaning when they eat sodium they retain fluid and their blood pressure rises.
There’s some research that shows if everybody reduced sodium in their diet, the rates of heart disease globally would go way down.
HOW TO CUTBACK ON YOUR SALT CONSUMPTION
If you’re bold enough to admit to yourself that you might be taking too much of the white stuff, don’t fret, as it’s definitely a situation that can be contained. Simply put, you can reduce sodium levels in your body by staying hydrated and drinking a healthy amount of water, minimizing consumption of soda and sport drinks, exercising regularly, consuming more potassium, eating a low-sodium diet, using caution when practicing cleanses or crash diets and consulting your doctor about your salt intake.
Stick to these tenets and you should be just fine in the sodium consumption department. Remember not to be too salty, in food or in character. Be sure to stay in touch with us for more health tips and guides!