Here’s Why You Should Be Careful About Salt Intake
We all hear about the benefits of reducing salt intake. But sodium is a mineral found in several foods. And if it comes from natural sources, it can contribute to our wellbeing. Still, eating more than the daily recommended intake of salt (more than 1,500 mg) can pose a risk for our health. Foods with added salt like fast food, packaged foods, or snacks can cause inflammation in the body and several health issues. If you’re interested in this topic, keep reading our article. We shared our insights about salty foods and health.
Facts about sodium, salt, and potassium
Before we discuss the side effects of salt intake, you should read about sodium, salt, and potassium.
- Sodium is a necessary nutrient for healthy plasma volume, nerve impulses transmission, and normal cell function.
- Excess sodium intake can lead to several cardiovascular issues.
- Sodium is found naturally in various foods, like shellfish, meat, or milk.
- Potassium is needed for total body fluid volume maintenance and electrolyte balance. It can help one overcome the effects of too much salt intake.
What are the dangers of salty foods for health?
High blood pressure
The main side effect of salty foods is high blood pressure. Cardiologists advise that the main risk fact for heart disease and death is salt intake. Several studies reveal that diminishing salt intake promotes heart health and reduces the risk of strokes and heart failure.
Ingesting too much salt might promote the appearance of kidney stones. And this is a concerning fact, especially for those prone to developing calcium kidney stones in their urinary tract. So, avoiding high-sodium foods can prevent kidney issues. Experts say it is best to eat primarily whole and natural foods, with low-sodium seasoning.
Besides increasing blood pressure, salty foods lead to a significantly higher risk for heaty disease. Excess salt can decrease blood flow to the heart and brain. Studies show that reducing salt intake can prevent heart disease risk factors, like excess body fat and high blood pressure.
Recent research done on salty foods reveals that salt increases the chances of developing gastric cancer. Thus, it is best to avoid salty foods and opt for a diet rich in nutritious vegetables and fruits.
Which is the best way to avoid salty foods?
This is a common question, as nowadays, it is challenging to discover the salt content on a product’s label. Still, if you want to keep up your health and limit salt intake, you can follow the tips listed below.
- Eat more vegetables – these foods are naturally low in salt and can help your heart restore its health.
- Use herbs and spices – replacing salt with such ingredients will significantly decrease your salt intake.
- Cook at home – avoiding take-out or fast food can offer several health benefits. It can lower your salt intake, and it can keep you safe from excess fat and carbohydrates.
- Read labels – of course, reading a product’s label can help you manage salt intake. It is best to consume low salt foods with fewer than 120 mg of sodium per 100g.
- Choose a healthy meal plan – if you want to boost your health, it might be a good idea to implement a healthy meal plan, such as a low sodium diet.
What to do if you crave salty foods?
It is not uncommon to crave salty foods. Sodium is necessary for our health, but if you’re concerned about your salt intake, you can overcome your cravings with:
Should I try a low sodium diet?
It is best to ask for medical advice before making significant dietary changes. Still, a low sodium diet can offer numerous health benefits like:
- Lowered blood pressure
- Reduces risk of strokes or heart attacks
- Balanced LDL cholesterol
- Decreased risk of kidney damage
- Boost in vision
- Lowered risk of dementia
- Fewer headaches or migraines
- Lowered risk of stomach cancer
The bottom line
Salty foods and health should be our concern at any given time. Even though sodium is useful for our body, you should always be careful about how much salt you have in your diet. Experts say it is best to have a balanced and nutritious meal plan with plenty of whole grains, legumes, and fruits. Still, if you fear you have too much sodium in your body, it is best to discuss it with your doctor. He might recommend a low sodium diet to prevent health issues.