How Salt Affects Your Health

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Salt is what gives your food 'taste'. But too much of salt can damage your health in many ways. In fact salt can make your body retain more water by affecting the function of your kidneys.

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When too much of water is retained, your blood pressure may increase. This may indirectly affect various other organs like brain, arteries and even your heart. This is how salt affects your health.

So, how much of salt can you consume in a day? Not more than 5-6 grams! But unfortunately, we are consuming more than that recommended limit.

Why we fail to keep track of our salt intake? Well, most of the salt comes from the processed foods that we eat. Salt is hiding in your biscuits, bread, chips and other processed foods. But we have control only over the food we prepare at home.

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It is tough to find out the salt content of the foods that you eat outside. So, try to minimise the consumption out of your home. Maximise home cooked meals and try to reduce the salt in them. Now, let us discuss how salt affects your health.


Ulcers And Stomach Cancer

The nitrate present in salt may cause stomach cancer. Also, salty foods may irritate the stomach lining. Even the risk of suffering stomach ulcers cannot be ruled out.


May Damage Your Kidneys

Salt affects your kidneys in so many ways. Firstly, they over burden the kidneys. Also water retention may weaken the blood vessels in the kidneys. In fact excessive salt consumption in the long run can cause renal failure.


May Slow Down Brain Activity

A recent study claims that too much salt can even affect brain activity and certain cognitive faculties. It may even cause dementia.


Worsens Blood Sugar Levels

If you are diabetic, then excess salt can affect your blood sugar levels drastically.



You may lose the Calcium present in your bones if you eat too much of salt. This may also lead to osteoporosis.


Risk Of Stroke Increases

When your blood pressure is high, the risk of stroke and certain other cardiovascular issues may drastically increase.


Your Blood Pressure May Increase

Your body may need water to dissolve salt. This makes your body to retain more water. This may affect the volume of your blood and in the long run, your blood pressure may increase.


Causes Obesity

Though there isn't any direct link, salty foods make you drink more fluids. When you choose to drink a sugary drink the calorie intake would increase and make you obese. Also, due to water retention, your body may start swelling.

Read more about: health, nutrition, wellness
Story first published: Monday, January 25, 2016, 13:27 [IST]
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