Eating too much salt ( sodium chloride ) and you want to know if it affects your health? Salt is a very essential mineral for optimal muscle and nerve function. It is made up of about 40% sodium and 60% chloride respectively.
The human body requires sodium (salt) to function properly. When salt is ingested and dispersed into the bloodstream and other fluids of the body, salt takes on many functions which include;
Keeps the body hydrated
Helps thyroid function properly
Regulates the electrolytes that allow the brain to carry out electrical signals through the nerves and muscles.
Prevents low blood pressure
Helps with digestion.
Despite how important salt is to our body system, it’s vital we regulate our intake of salt because eating too much salt can cause a lot of unpleasant and sometimes catastrophic effects which this article will enlighten you about.
Failing to consume fluids or water after consuming a high amount of salt may cause your sodium levels to rise higher than the safe level resulting in a condition called Hypernatremia
This condition causes water to leach into your blood from your cells in an attempt to dilute the excess sodium. This fluid shift can cause seizures, breathing and sleeping difficulty, coma, or even death if left untreated.
Increases blood pressure:
Excessive salt causes a larger blood volume to flow through your blood vessels and arteries. As your body tries to dilute the salt in the blood by holding onto water, the increased volume causes your blood pressure to increase.
Not everyone may experience these effects as research suggests that people who are salt resistant may not experience a rise in blood pressure after salt-rich meals.
As larger blood volume flows through the arteries, they become stiff and clogged which may finally lead to an outburst which in turn will increase your risk of having heart disease and dying prematurely.
Eating too much salt causes an increase in blood pressure which damages brain arteries. If cells don’t get enough oxygen, they either die or don’t function as well which can lead to dementia.
The arteries in the brain can also become clogged or burst resulting in the cut-off of blood flow to that part of the brain. The result ranges from mild (physical and mental impairment, stroke) to severe (death) complications.
Reducing salt intake can help decrease blood pressure which automatically reduces chances of getting dementia, stroke, and other physical and mental impairment.
Osteoporosis is a condition that involves bone degeneration due to the loss of calcium in the bones. Consuming an excessive sodium diet may cause the body to excrete calcium, the more calcium you lose, the thinner your bones are, and the more they’ll keep degenerating until they break.
How much salt are you to consume per day?
Research for eating too much salt suggests that the average individual currently consumes 9 -12 grams of salt per day with processed foods being the highest contributor.