How Much Salt Is Too Much?

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How Much Salt Is Too Much?

June 6, 2019 Written by: Costectomy

It is a  well-established fact  that too much salt is bad for your health. The  sodium in salt is culprit. A high sodium diet is one of the leading dietary causes of greater health risks. But the question remains:  how much salt is bad for you, and how much can your body tolerate? Many healthcare authorities have developed sodium intake guidelines for the general population. According to the World Health Organization, a healthy intake is no more than 2 grams of sodium per day, which is equal to about 5 grams of salt  – about one teaspoon. Most people consume more than that on a daily basis. Because of the increased health risks caused by high sodium diets, the WHO aims to reduce worldwide salt consumption by 30% by 2025.

The health effects of table salt

Let’s be clear. Your body does need some sodium to function properly. It regulates the fluid balance in your body and also helps in muscle and nerve impulse transmission. Recent research seems to indicate that if you are otherwise healthy, your body can tolerate up to 2.5 teaspoons of salt per day. However,  excessive sodium can contribute to different health issues, especially heart and blood conditions. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common causal illness. . Researchers also found a link between high-sodium diets and osteoporosis, or the weakening of the bones.

Salt consumption and high blood pressure

Consistently  high amounts of salt in your diet can lead to high blood pressure. High blood pressure strains  your heart, blood vessels, and kidneys. Devastating diseases such as stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure are all effects of hypertension. It’s especially important that people with high blood pressure keep a close watch on their daily salt intake – and cut it down if too high.

What is the best approach?

To be safe, it’s better to stick to a healthier, low-salt diet. Unfortunately, because sodium is present in many foods, controlling salt-intake may be a little difficult. Be wary of canned, processed, and preserved foods as they usually contain astronomical amounts of salt. Controlling dietary salt consumption can offer significant health benefits as well as cost savings. Change in the perception of taste often makes it hard to regulate the consumption of salt. Gradually decreasing the rate of daily salt consumption can help you achieve the 5 grams per day target. You can also counter the possible ill-effects of high salt consumption by adding potassium-rich foods such as vegetables and fruits in your diet.

REFERENCES

Smith, Shannon L., et al. “Aging and eating in the rural, southern United States: beliefs about salt and its effect on health.” Social Science & Medicine 62.1 (2006): 189-198.

Nghiem, Nhung, et al. “Health and economic impacts of eight different dietary salt reduction interventions.” PLoS One 10.4 (2015): e0123915.

Hendriksen, Marieke AH, et al. “Identification of differences in health impact modelling of salt reduction.” PloS one 12.11 (2017): e0186760.

Gilbert, P. A., and G. Heiser. “Salt and health: the CASH and BPA perspective.” Nutrition Bulletin 30.1 (2005): 62-69.