Here are 8 symptoms and signs that indicate that you’re eating too much salt. Most people don’t know that a very low sodium diet is also bad for you. If you’re wondering if you’re getting enough salt per day or if you should restrict your salt intake daily to lose weight, watch this video.
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Salt is an essential dietary nutrient. It helps regulate vital functions such as our blood pressure, blood volume, pH levels and it’s also involved in a number of metabolic processes, nerve activities and the proper flow and operation of the circulatory system. But too much salt can cause some serious problems. When the body’s optimum sodium balance is thrown off, things start to go wrong. It puts a lot of stress on your kidneys, blood vessels and your heart. This could eventually lead to far more serious things than just high blood pressure even as serious as a heart attack or a stroke. The US Department of Agriculture recommends that healthy people limit their sodium intake to 2,400 mg per day. That’s about the amount you’ll get from a level teaspoon. But, most of us are getting way more than that, mainly through the hidden salt found in processed foods. Before we dive in, I want you to understand that salt itself isn’t bad. It’s a mineral that your body needs to maintain a balance between fluids and sodium and also for healthy muscle and nerve function, so you don’t want to cut it out altogether. Instead you want to make sure that you’re not eating too much and you can do that by looking out for these 8 key signs. Let’s start with what most doctors consider to be the most obvious sign of taking in too much salt… high blood pressure. Even though most of the medical community still continues to hold the stance that salt raises blood pressure some studies are starting to call this view into question. But the current standpoint goes like this: The ideal blood pressure is 120 over 80. Anything over that is considered high. A number of studies show that there’s a large association between the amount of salt you eat and your blood pressure and this association increases with age. It works like this; When you take in too much salt, it makes it much harder for your kidneys to filter toxins and extra unwanted water and fluid from your blood. The extra sodium in your blood, pulls water out into your blood vessels. This excess volume of water in your blood vessels results in higher blood pressure, but it doesn’t just end there. All of this makes the blood vessels work harder, which cause their walls to get thicker. This further reduces the amount of space inside the vessels that are already full of extra water, which also further reduces the amount of blood that gets to your organs, making your heart have to work even harder to circulate blood throughout your body. And there you have a vicious cycle of high blood pressure that leads to heart disease. However, more recent research calls into question the link between sodium and increased blood pressure. A 2017 study showed no link between salt and systolic blood pressure. In this study, participants who consumed less than 2,500 mg of sodium a day actually ended up with higher blood pressure than those who consumed higher amounts. Other recent studies have found what is called a J-shaped relationship between sodium and high blood pressure….
The association of blood pressure with sodium intake is substantially larger than is generally appreciated and increases with age and initial blood pressure.
The graph shows systolic blood pressure according to sodium intake among individuals not taking blood pressure lowering medication. Results were adjusted for sex, age, education, height, weight, physical activity, cigarettes per day and alcohol intake.
Credit: Lynn L. Moore, Boston University School of Medicine
(2.5) J-curved relationship between blood pressure and heart diseases
A reduced sodium intake was associated with a significantly lower risk of headache, while dietary patterns had no effect on the risk of headaches in adults. Reduced dietary sodium intake offers a novel approach to prevent headaches.
The WHO-recommended intake of ≤5 g per day. 32,27 With this reduction in salt intake, there was also a large and significant reduction in urine protein excretion of 19.4%.
A diet rich in salt is linked to an increased risk of cerebrovascular diseases and dementia, but it remains unclear how dietary salt harms the brain.