What’s better than a bag of chips to satiate your midnight cravings, right? True, it’s satisfying as hell. But after reading this article, you will surely not reach out for that packet of chips. Chips are rich in salt and that can spike the sodium levels in your body. Salt is essential for the body in many ways. It helps in keeping the body hydrated and balances the electrolyte levels. But you know what they say, having too much of anything is never a good idea. The same way, including too much salt in your diet might be doing more harm than good. Here are 10 ways in which salt is harmful for your body. Read on…
According to a study published in Endocrine Abstracts, salt delays the time taken by an individual to fall asleep. That’s not all, it was also noted in the study an individual wakes up several times at night if their salt consumption has been high through the day. This results in disturbed sleep and we all know how that affects our health, don’t we? You could end up feeling drowsy and fatigued the next day. According to the study, it’s best to eat salty foods a few hours before sleeping. A bag of chips and salted nuts are a few things you should steer clear of right before bedtime.
2. Weight Gain
This might not be the first time you’re reading about the link between salt and weight gain. A study conducted by Queen Mary University Of London carefully studied children and young adults to examine the link between the two. The study showed that sodium (present in salt) leads to weight gain and eventually, obesity.
3. Cardiovascular Diseases
There is enough scientific research to prove that sodium adversely affects blood pressure and leads to cardiovascular diseases. According to a blog post published in Harvard’s School Of Public Health, a high-sodium diet can lead to heart strokes, diseases and heart failure as well. People over the age of 50, people with elevated blood pressure levels and diabetes patients are most prone to developing health issues stemming from sodium consumption.
4. Kidney Stones
The same post that talks about cardiovascular diseases also draws light on how sodium can prove to be very harmful for the kidneys. Sodium grabs on to calcium before it’s flushed out of the body. In this process, it’s possible for a person to develop kidney stones.
5. Cognitive Impairment
Surprising, right? A study published in Nature Neuroscience shows that there’s a link between a high-salt diet and cognitive impairment. A sodium rich diet can reduce blood flow to the brain and result in dementia. Go easy on the salt, boys.
Oedema is a condition that results in swelling of hands, knees and feet. In a study published in National Center For Biotechnology that was aimed at analysing the link between oedema and blood pressure, it was found that a high-sodium diet (read salt-rich diet) was the culprit. Salt causes water retention which could result in oedema.
7. You Crave More Salty Food
It’s a vicious cycle. The more salt you eat, more salt you crave. That’s why it’s so hard to give up junk food. We’re not kidding, there’s science behind it! Processed foods are very rich in salt and hence, it’s best to keep them away from your kitchen.
8. Stomach Cancer
Most processed foods are filled with preservatives to increase their shelf life. Which basically means that they’re loaded with salt. A study published in National Center For Biotechnology examined the link between dietary salt intake and stomach cancer. Turns out salt can give you gastric cancer as well.
The same research that studied oedema and blood pressure proved that if salt increases the amount of total body water. Salt increases the body’s water holding capacity and results in bloating around the abdomen area. To avoid this, it’s best to stick to a diet that’s low in salt.
According to a study published in National Center For Biotechnology, salt is responsible for a significant bone calcium balance. That’s primarily because salt induces calcuria. Salt is in fact a well-recognised reason for osteoporosis.