5 side effects of eating too much salt | Health - Hindustan Times

5 side effects of eating too much salt

By, New Delhi
Feb 02, 2023 07:12 PM IST

Excessive salt in your diet can put you at risk of several deadly diseases from blood pressure to stomach cancer. A nutritionist on side effects of eating a high-salt diet.

All our comfort foods have high amounts of salt in it from pizza, burger, French fries, samosa to soup. Our taste buds are so accustomed to salt and sugar that unprocessed foods like salad, fruits, dry fruits and roasted snacks seem bland to us. However, we do not realise that these salty treats are playing a havoc with our health. (Also read: 7 effective ways to reduce salt intake in your meals)

During the US invasion of Iraq, a publicity-conscious American restaurateur decided not to use the name French Fries
During the US invasion of Iraq, a publicity-conscious American restaurateur decided not to use the name French Fries

Salt is needed by our body in small amounts but many of us inadvertently consume way higher amounts of salt than needed. A high-salt diet over a period of time can silently damage many of our organs and body functions. You can see immediate impact of eating too much salt in the form of dehydration that's a common side effect of a high sodium diet. One tends to feel bloated and swelling can be spotted in legs and feet. Too much salt over a period of time can also lead to high blood pressure, osteoporosis and increase our risk of heart attack and strokes.

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Nutritionist Karishma Shah in her recent Instagram post talks about the perils of a high-salt diet.

"As a nutritionist, I often warn my clients about the dangers of consuming too much salt. It's important to understand that excessive salt intake can have a significant impact on our health. High blood pressure is one of the most common consequences, and it increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Dehydration is another side effect of consuming too much salt as it pulls water into the bloodstream, making us feel bloated and uncomfortable. Edema, or swelling, can occur in the legs, ankles, and feet. A diet high in salt has also been linked to an increased risk of stomach cancer, and it can lead to the development of osteoporosis over time. Consuming too much salt can also cause headaches and stomach discomfort, making it important to monitor our intake. My recommendation is to limit the amount of salt in our diets and opt for alternative seasonings to enhance the flavour of our meals," writes Shah.

Shah further shares side effects of eating a diet high on salt.

1. Water retention

Excessive salt consumption causes water retention and bloating in certain people. The effects can be short-lived if one deliberately decreases the sodium intake but they can seriously impact kidneys in the long run.

2. Affects kidneys

If you eat too much salt, the increased sodium levels obstruct the smooth functioning of kidneys which are not able to filter blood adequately.

3. Could cause osteoporosis

Excessive salt in food over a long period could lead to fluid collection in the body tissues and cells. This forces the body to excrete calcium, leading to the degeneration of bones and osteoporosis

4. Causes strokes

When the kidneys begin malfunctioning because of not being able to flush out excess salt, the result is high blood pressure which can then lead to strokes

5. Triggers migraines

Excessive consumption of salt also triggers headaches that might become migraines. These headaches are dehydration induced. You need to keep yourself hydrated and drink plenty of water to beat the side effects of salt.

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