Salt enhances the taste of our mood and no food, without salt, is good to taste. However, too much of salt intake can cause many health-related complications. You must add salt in low or moderate amounts to your food.
Processed, packaged and junk foods contain a lot of salt in them that you may not be aware of. The quantity of salt used may be much higher than the recommended limit. Limiting salt consumption alone is not enough; however, you must avoid these artificial foods as well.
A teaspoon of salt contains about 2,000 milligrams of sodium and the recommended amount is less than 2,300 milligrams per day. This is nearly about one teaspoon of salt. Now, you can imagine how much quantity of salt intake you have exceeded by this recommended amount of sodium.
Excess salt in our diet can lead to short-term and long-term health effects as well. You must pay a close attention to the warning signs of excess salt consumption. Before excess salt intake leads to a serious damage, our body gives early warning signals to show that we must limit its intake.
Here are some of the warning signs of excess salt intake.
Eating more sodium makes you feel too thirsty often because too much of it disrupts the fluid balance in the cells. The excess salt in the body pulls the water out of the cells into the bloodstream. This causes the brain to send signals to the body that it needs water, and thus we crave for water.
Bloating And Stomach Upset
Excess salt causes accumulation of fluids inside the body and makes you feel bloated. This makes us feel uneasy and uncomfortable. The fluid build-up increases the blood volume, and thus load on your heart increases. This can pose a risk for people with high blood pressure.
Swelled Hands And Feet (Oedema)
Salt causes accumulation of fluids in the hands and feet, causing them to swell. This condition is medically known as oedema. This can be very harmful for those who have pre-existing kidney disease or high blood pressure.
Cravings For Salty Foods
The excess salt in the body increases the cravings for salty foods, which can further complicate the problem. Eating salty foods and snacks will also make the taste of other food items feel bland. These salt cravings are an indication that there is too much salt in your diet.
High Blood Pressure
Since salt causes accumulation of fluids in the body, this in turn increases the volume of the blood present inside the blood vessels. This raises the pressure of the blood, as it puts more pressure on the heart, brain and kidneys. The extra pressure on the insides of your arteries causes rise in blood pressure.
Excess salt intake causes loss of calcium from the bones through the urine. This causes weak and fragile bones. Post-menopausal women, who already have calcium loss from bones, must avoid excess salt in their food at all costs.
High salt intake increases the load on kidneys, as more water increases the volume of blood. This causes the kidneys to work harder to remove the excess water outside the body. Since calcium is lost from the bones and is present in urine, excess calcium may get accumulated in the kidneys and form kidney stones.