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Anything in excess is bad and consuming too much salt can be really bad for you. Your body needs a little bit of salt every day for the sodium it contains. Sodium plays a significant role in the body. In particular, it regulates volumes of fluids in the body and aids the uptake of various other nutrients into the body’s cells. Also, the normal pH, or acid-base level of the blood is influenced by sodium.
As sodium cannot be made by the body, you need to provide your body with an adequate amount through the food you eat.
Excess sodium in the body, however, can be harmful to your health as it damages the kidneys. It also promotes water retention which adds to the water weight in the body.
NOTE: The recommended amount of salt is no more than 5 grams a day (1 teaspoon of salt is about 6 grams).
Why you should limit your salt intake?
Your body needs a small amount of sodium to maintain a proper fluid balance. But excess sodium can be damaging for your kidneys.
Excess salt causes your kidneys to retain water in order to dilute this electrolyte in your bloodstream to help your heart function properly. This places a load on the kidneys and affects renal function.
Information on the impact of salt intake on the course of kidney disease is fragmentary, but points to the direction that high salt intake aggravates long-term outcomes.
Increases Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, and high salt intake is one of the leading causes of high blood pressure.
A high sodium level in the body causes a decrease in the synthesis of nitric oxide, an arteriolar vasodilator. This means that blood flow experiences more resistance because the blood vessels are not widened as much.
Raises Stomach Cancer Risk
High salt intake is linked to a higher risk of stomach cancer. In fact, the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research confirm that salt, as well as salted and salty foods, are one of the probable causes of stomach cancer.
A high-salt diet may induce gene activity in the stomach bacteria Helicobacter pylori, making the symptoms more severe. High sodium intake may also make the cancer treatment less effective.