Salt is a necessary mineral found in abundance in foods. However, too much salt can lead to several negative side effects. Salt acts as a preservative and helps food to taste better. It also helps keep food fresh by helping the flavors to combine and mingle more effectively.
Too much sodium intake can lead to high blood pressure, increased Cholesterol, and increased urination. These are just some of the many negative side effects that can occur due to excessive salt in the body. However, there are also positive effects of too much salt.
Effect on Blood Pressure
Too much salt intake can lead to high blood pressure. Researchers believe consuming too much salt can increase blood pressure via two mechanisms. First, by increasing levels of stress hormones in the body, it increases blood flow to the heart. However, higher levels of stress hormones also increase the production of chemicals in the body that causes constriction of blood vessels.
Effects on the Heart Rate
Studies have also shown that aspartame, a popular artificial sweetener, can lead to high blood pressure. The same can be said about saccharin, used in certain artificial milk products. However, other researchers believe that a high-salt diet can lead to paradoxical breathing, characterized by rapid breathing and increased heart rate.
Effects on Digestive Issues
Some people have digestive issues after consuming a high-salt diet. The excess salt in the body can cause water retention and swelling in the abdomen. These may lead to bloating and gas. Additionally, a high-salt diet can lead to acidity in the stomach, which can lead to digestive problems such as acid indigestion and heartburn.
Some people experience muscle tension after consuming a high-salt diet. This can be due to a variety of reasons, such as a poor diet or working out hard. However, a high-salt diet can also lead to this effect. One study found that consuming 6% salt and 5% sugar led to higher levels of muscle tension compared to a control group.
Some people experience headaches after a high-salt diet. This is thought to be due to an overstimulation of the central nervous system and can occur after eating certain foods. Individuals sensitive to certain foods should consult a doctor before consuming a high-salt diet. One study found that consuming 2% salt in place of sugar led to higher blood pressure in people who were sensitive to sugar.
In addition to these side effects, a high-salt diet can also lead to a build-up of lactic acid in the body which can be harmful. Therefore, individuals who want to reduce the risk of high blood pressure or heart disease should consume a low-salt diet.
However, consuming a moderate amount of salt is a good thing. It helps to make food taste better, keeps food fresh, and helps you to retain muscle and fluids. Now, it’s time to get your body ready for the season.