Consuming too much of salt can increase your blood pressure. Hypertension (Raised blood pressure) is the main factor that leads to heart attacks, strokes and heart failure, leading to death or disability. Also, there is an increasing proof of a connection between high salt consumption and stomach cancer, obesity, kidney disease, kidney stones, and osteoporosis. What else can salt consumption lead to? Can you get diabetes from salt? Can salt intake increase the symptoms of Meniere’s disease and asthma? You will know all these things and more in this article.
1. Salt Intake
Small amounts of salt intake are very necessary for your health. An adult can consume up to one gram of salt per day and children require even less salt. Reducing the salt consumption can lower the blood pressure as well as the risk of any diseases.
2. Blood Pressure
Salt intake definitely affects your blood pressure levels. High intake can lead to hyper tension. A third of adults today have high blood pressure compliance, which is 140/90 mmHg, and many of them even do not know that they have this problem because it does not show any symptoms. The risk of blood pressure begins within its normal range, that is below 140/90 mmHg, so you will benefit when you lower the intake of salt.
Usually, a stroke occurs when blood supply is cut off to a part of your brain, which reduces the oxygen flow to the brain making cells to die. There are mainly two types of strokes – haemoorhagic stroke (bursting of a blood vessel and bleeding into your brain) and ischemic stroke (blockage of a blood vessel). Stroke is one of the biggest killers worldwide. You can control stroke by reducing salt intake, keeping your blood pressure under control etc.
4. Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)
CHD is the term used to define the situation that happens when the blood supply to the heart is blocked or reduced which leads to hearts attacks or heart failure. Today, 1 in every 4 men and 1 in every 6 women die due to CHD.
High blood pressure is the main reason for coronary heart disease. It makes the walls of your blood vessels to become thicker leading your blood vessels to become very narrow and cannot carry the sufficient blood supply to the entire body, which can lead to heart failure. It can also cause clots formation, which can lead to blood supply blockage in your heart – the result – heart attack.
As high blood pressure is the main reason for coronary heart disease and salt intake leads to high blood pressure, you can lower the risk of CHD by lowering your salt consumption, losing over weight, and changing lifestyle patterns such as eating healthy and exercising daily.
How Can You Get Diabetes?
Can you get diabetes from salt? Yes, to an extent. Salt consumption can lead to risk of diabetes through high blood pressure. People who already have diabetes can benefit from lowering the salt intake. Because keeping your blood pressure in a healthy range can help you reduce the risk of long term complications linked with diabetes.
Too much sodium intake can lead to raised blood pressure, too. So, you may be asked to avoid or limit sale intake.
High salt intake can increase the risk of gastric cancer (stomach cancer). A quarter of stomach cancer cases are attributed to higher salt intake. The bacterium H. pylori (Helicobacter pylori) is the major cause for gastric cancer because it can cause inflammation of your stomach which can further cause stomach ulcers. H.Pylori in your stomach may not necessarily lead to damage. However, salt intake can cause damage to the lining of the stomach, making it more prone to H.pylori effects, and can also raise the growth and affect of bacterium causing more damage. Men are more prone to gastric cancer than women.
It is a condition that leads to the thinning of bones, making them prone to breaking and brittle. 1 in 5 men and 1 in 2 women break a bone post 50, mainly because of poor bone health. Most of the calcium in a human body is stored in the bones. High salt intake can lead to loss of calcium from bones and excreted through urine, leading to weak or broken bones. Raised blood pressure causes and symptoms will make the scenario even worse.
Elderly people are more prone to osteoporosis mainly because the bones become thinner naturally as they get old. Women after menopause are more at risk of thinning of bones due to the drop down of hormone called oestrogen which usually protects their bone health. However, adults and children irrespective of their gender need to take proper care of their bones to prevent osteoporosis in future.
Many people today around the globe are affected by overweight or obesity. It is linked with many health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, CHD, sleep apnea, and more. Though salt does not lead to overweight or obesity directly, it makes you feel thirsty all the time making you consume more fluids, and you will gain weight when those fluids are sugary drinks as they contain more calories and energy. This is a main problem in teenagers and children as most of the fluids they consume are sugary drinks.
Avoid High-Salt Content Foods
In order to prevent the risk of diseases caused due to salt intake, it is advised to avoid the following high-salt content foods:
- Salt and salt seasonings
- Boxed mixes of pasta, potatoes, or rice
- Canned vegetables and soups with sodium
- Canned meats
- Processed or cured foods
- Canned sauces, salad dressing, mustard, ketchup, and other spreads
- Packaged sauces, soups, and gravies
- Salty snacks
- Processed meats such as ham, bacon, sausage, and lunch meat
- Pickled foods
- MSG or Monosodium Glutamate which is often added in the preparation of Chinese food.
- Soy sauce
- Steak sauce
Additionally avoid spice blends and mixed seasoning that include salt.
Avoid mixed seasonings and spice blends that include salt, such as garlic salt. Once after 2 weeks of following reduced salt intake, your body will get adjusted and you will not feel the missing effect of the added salt in the diet.