Salt is a hidden killer with terrifying consequences – but what are those consequences and how much salt is deadly?
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is the silent but deadly third leading cause of death worldwide. In the western world, it is the second leading cause of death after cancer. However, in many developing countries, high blood pressure due to high salt and fat consumption is now the leading cause of death, overtaking heart disease and diabetes. Even in wealthy countries like the United States, high blood pressure is on the rise.
Excessive salt consumption is not only bad for your health but also for your wallet if you buy packaged foods or eat out frequently in restaurants. The average person consumes around 10 grams of salt per day, almost double what we should be consuming (5g per day). However, some people consume much more than that…
How much salt is deadly?
A study showed that consuming more than 10 grams of salt per day increases the risk of dying prematurely by 44%. This risk increases with every additional gram of salt, especially in people with high blood pressure. The same study showed that reducing salt intake to 5 grams per day reduced the risk of death by 36%.
However, salt is an important source of sodium and should never be completely eliminated from your diet. Everything you need to know about salt as part of your basic supply can be found here.
Why is too much salt bad for you?
People with high blood pressure are particularly susceptible to salt-related illnesses. In the short term, excessive salt consumption leads to fluid retention and increases blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Salt also damages arteries and weakens kidney and liver function, causing blood pressure to rise above normal levels.
- heart diseases:
High blood pressure is the main cause of heart attacks and strokes. High salt consumption has also been linked to dilated veins, which can cause heart attacks.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death and disability in the western world. A high-salt diet doubles the risk of stroke.
- Kidney Diseases:
High blood pressure damages the kidneys and can eventually lead to kidney failure and chronic kidney disease.
- liver disease:
Liver damage is a complication of high blood pressure.
What are the immediate dangers of too much salt?
So salt does come with some risks, so you should definitely reconsider your salt intake and adjust it if necessary. How much salt kills ultimately depends on many external factors, but the subject should not be taken lightly. Some of the immediate dangers of excessive salt consumption are as follows:
High salt consumption leads to fluid retention and increases blood pressure, which increases the risk of a heart attack. It also increases fluid retention and leads to swollen and swollen ankles.
High blood pressure also increases the risk of fainting. High salt intake also increases the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, especially in people with high blood pressure.
Salt has a negative effect on bones, causes osteoporosis and increases the risk of fractures. Osteoarthritis is caused by the breakdown of cartilage and degeneration of the joints. Salt speeds up this process.
Which foods are dangerous?
Salt is commonly used as a flavour enhancer, and many foods contain large amounts of it. High-salt foods include:
Cheese is a healthy food, but smoked cheese and processed cheese contain large amounts of salt.
- salt meat:
Sausage products are very salty and should be consumed in moderation.
- Processed foods:
Processed food manufacturers often add salt to improve flavour.
Hot sauces, ketchup, and soy sauce contain large amounts of salt.
- Frozen dishes:
Frozen meals usually contain a lot of salt.
Soups often contain large amounts of salt.
Final words: How to stay safe and healthy
Reducing the amount of salt you eat can have amazing effects on your health. Here are some tips to stay safe and healthy:
Read the nutritional information on the food packaging and avoid foods high in sodium or salt. Eating out is mostly associated with high-sodium foods. Therefore, you should prepare your own meals at home. This allows you to control the amount of salt used in cooking. Also, avoid too many condiments and processed foods. Eating these foods increases your salt intake.
Drink a lot of water. This will help flush out excess sodium and exercise regularly. Exercise helps lower blood pressure by improving blood flow to organs.
These small lifestyle changes will make a big difference to your health and well-being. Now it’s time to break the salt habit!
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