Salt is the king of condiments. Whether used as a preservative or as a seasoning, it can add the finishing touch to any dish. Conventional table salt, which is chemically composed of 40% sodium and 60% chloride (hence the chemical term “sodium chloride”), has many benefits.
For example, it promotes muscle mobility, supports nerve impulses and helps balance daily water and mineral intake. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), however, salt should not exceed five grams per day, the equivalent of one teaspoon.
However, many people tend to exceed the recommended amount up to three times. Too much salt, on the other hand, is bad for your health and can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.
But what are the signals our bodies send us when we eat too much salt? Here are eight of them.
What happens if you eat too much salt: here ara the main signs
Stomach bloating is one of the most common short-term effects of sodium consumption. This is because salt helps the body retain water, which leads to water storage. Localized swelling in other parts of the body, such as the hands, feet, face and ankles, can also result from high sodium consumption. A low-sodium food is not necessarily low in salt. So beware of sandwiches, pizzas, bagels and ready-made soups, and always check the labels, as they can be sneaky sources of salt.
-High blood pressure –
High blood pressure can be caused by a number of factors, but high sodium intake can be one of them. Too much salt makes it difficult for the kidneys to remove excess fluid. As a result, blood pressure increases.
-Frequent thirst –
Being constantly thirsty or more thirsty than usual can be due to excessive sodium intake. A large amount of salt in the body dehydrates, which increases the sensation of thirst. This is a sign that the body needs more water to restore balance.
-Weight gain –
Water retention from high salt intake can lead to weight gain. Gaining a few pounds in a few days or a week can be a sign of excessive salt consumption.
-Frequent bathroom visits –
High sodium intake leads to increased drinking, which leads to frequent bathroom visits.
-Disturbed sleep –
Eating foods with a lot of salt before bed can lead to disturbed sleep. Sleep disturbances related to high doses of sodium are due to the fact that overeating leads to the consumption of fattier and slower digesting foods, which induces weakness and sleepiness. Too much salt at dinner can also quickly lead to dehydration. The result? You wake up thirsty in the middle of the night, interrupting a peaceful, uninterrupted sleep.
-Abdominal cramps – Too much salt is bad for you, starting with your belly. Nausea, diarrhea and stomach cramps are all signs of excessive salt consumption. In this case, drinking plenty of water can help manage the situation.
Other – The long-term effects of excessive sodium consumption include some pretty scary and dangerous conditions such as headaches, heart failure, kidney disease, osteoporosis and even stroke and stomach cancer. A good deterrent, therefore, to drastically reduce daily salt consumption.
Remedies to reduce salt consumption
So how can we eat less sodium and reduce our salt intake? Here are some suggestions:
-In general, prefer unprocessed or prepackaged foods: fresh vegetables and fruits, natural dried fruits, whole grains, meat and unprocessed dairy products are naturally low in sodium.
-Always read labels and check the sodium content of the foods you buy.
Choose fresh meat over packaged meat.
-If you buy frozen vegetables, choose fresh frozen vegetables and avoid vegetables already seasoned with sauces and other flavourings.
-When choosing spices and seasonings, do not use those that contain sodium on the label.
-When eating out, ask that no salt be added to your plate.