Salt is not unhealthy unless you eat too much of it. Salt is composed of two minerals ( 40% sodium and 60% chloride). Sodium is what can negatively affect your health if you consume too much, but the body also needs sodium to survive as it helps your nerves and muscles function properly.
From the meals we order at restaurants, to packaged processed foods we buy in the store, there seems to be a lot of salt in our diet. Of course, salt helps provide flavour to our food, it is also a great preservative because it is cheap, however a lot of people eat more salt than the body needs and, over time, there are consequences to this.
5 ways on how to know if you take in too much salt?
You feel bloated
One of the major ways pointing out too much salt consumption is that you begin to drink water too often, and then your body retains such water making your stomach feel swollen. So, when you eat a large amount of salt, the kidneys compensate by retaining fluid to balance and normalize its levels.
Body parts like your face, hands, feet, and ankles are more likely to swell than usual which indicates a sign of too much sodium in the body.
You get headaches
If you get regular headaches, chances are that these headaches are dehydration-induced and excessive salt consumption could be the reason for this. Eating so much salt triggers an almost immediate rise in blood pressure in some people, and headaches are a common symptom of high blood pressure.
You’ve Gained Weight
When you retain water, you might gain weight. If you’ve put on pounds quickly over a short period of time, it could be because you’re having too much salt.
You Use the Restroom frequently
Urinating frequently is a sign that you are consuming too much salt. This could be as a result of the salt intake encouraging one to drink water, hence the frequent trips to the bathroom. Most of the time, you may feel an urgent need to wake up in the middle of the night to urinate. However, this is also a symptoms of so many other diseases.
Long-Term Effects of Too Much Salt
Although there are lots of short-term effects, eating too much salt in the long term may raise your blood pressure, it increases one’s chances of having a heart failure,kidney disease, kidney stones, stomach cancer, and stroke.
How to Cut Down on Salt Intake
To help keep your levels in check:
-Choose fresh food instead of packaged ones.
-Read labels and check the sodium content in the foods you buy.
-When choosing spices and seasonings, go for ones that do not have sodium on their labels.
The Bottom line is sodium is essential for many body functions, but too much of it can be problematic and cause serious health concerns. Making a conscious effort to manage the sodium in your diet will pay off.