Hypertension caused by excessive salt intake can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases
Salt is a mineral composed mainly of sodium chloride (NaCl). It is commonly used as a seasoning and preservative in food. In moderation, salt is essential for our bodies as it helps maintain fluid balance, nerve function, and muscle contraction.
Consuming too much salt however, can have negative effects on our health. Excessive salt intake is linked to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. It can also contribute to kidney problems, bone loss, fluid retention, and affect our sense of thirst and taste.
It's important to consume salt in moderation and be mindful of our overall sodium intake. In this article, we list ways in which consuming too much salt can affect our health. Read on as we share 10 ways eating too much salt effects our health.
Here are 10 ways in which eating too much salt can impact our health:
1. High blood pressure
One of the most significant effects of excess salt intake is an increase in blood pressure. Salt contains sodium, and when we consume too much sodium, our body retains water, which raises blood volume and puts pressure on the blood vessels.
2. Increased risk of cardiovascular diseases
High blood pressure caused by excessive salt intake can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure.
3. Kidney damage
The kidneys play a crucial role in maintaining proper fluid balance in the body. Consuming excess salt can strain the kidneys and impair their function, leading to kidney damage over time.
4. Water retention
Excessive salt intake can cause the body to retain water, leading to bloating and swelling in various parts of the body, such as the hands, feet, and ankles.
High salt intake can result in increased calcium excretion through urine, which can lead to a decrease in bone density and increase the risk of osteoporosis.
6. Stomach cancer
Studies have shown that a high-salt diet may increase the risk of developing stomach cancer, possibly due to the presence of carcinogenic compounds formed during the digestion of salt.
7. Impaired cognitive function
Research suggests that a high-salt diet may negatively affect cognitive function, including memory and attention span, potentially increasing the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
8. Fluid imbalance
Consuming excessive salt can disrupt the balance of fluids in the body, leading to dehydration or over-hydration, both of which can have detrimental effects on our overall health.
9. Increased thirst
Salt acts as a natural thirst stimulant, and excessive salt intake can make you feel more thirsty, leading to increased fluid consumption, which can further exacerbate fluid imbalances.
10. Impaired taste sensation
Regularly consuming high levels of salt can desensitise taste buds over time, making it more challenging to appreciate the natural flavours of foods and potentially leading to a preference for saltier foods.
It's important to note that while salt is an essential mineral required by the body in moderate amounts, excessive intake can have these adverse effects on our health. It is advisable to limit salt consumption and opt for a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.