You may have heard of the proverb, ‘Too much of anything, is good for nothing’. This is true, in fact, too much salt in your diet can be harmful to your health. A pinch of salt may be appropriate, but exactly how much is too much?
According to the American Heart Association, research suggests that consuming 1,500 mg of salt is maximal each day. Meanwhile, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) advises that no more than 2,300 mg of salt is to be consumed on a daily basis. However, the FDA in 2016 recommended upper limits for sodium consumption for children under 14 are lower than the 2,300 mg limit recommended for older teens and adults. The recommended upper limits for children are 2,200 mg per day for ages 9 to 13; 1,900 mg for ages 4 to 8; and 1,500 mg for ages 1 to 3.
That means if your daily salt intake is 0.65 to 1.0 teaspoons, you have reached your maximum healthy limit. Too much salt in your diet causes osteoporosis, a bone-enfeebling disease. It accelerates the development of diabetes and stomach cancer, becoming overweight and obese, and prompts neurological disorders through a debilitated vascular state. As far as health conditions go, salt is infamously known for cranking up your blood pressure.
How exactly does salt cause your blood pressure to escalate?
Before that process is described, you should first recognize that sodium is essential to a healthy body. Salt assists in retaining water in our kidneys. This is vital in order to maintain circulation and a healthy blood pressure level. This process also helps in the pumping of oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest your body.
Unfortunately, too much sodium intake abuses the intricate balance that keeps you healthy. It pulls too much water into your blood vessels, which pumps up the volume of blood inside those vessels. When too much blood is flowing through your blood vessels, there an increase in your blood pressure. Consider this, blowing too much air into a balloon, or filling it with too much water causes the balloon to burst or pop.
This is a simple example of what is happening to your blood vessels. Blood vessels experience too much pressure and volume, which can injure the blood vessel walls and boost the buildup of unhealthy plaque. This blocks blood flow, your excess sodium continues to raise the pressure in your blood vessels, and those 2 issues can lead to heart disease, heart attack, stroke and the other health conditions mentioned earlier.
Modernized nations eat an unhealthy amount of processed and fast foods. This is a problem because fast food, food that has been heavily processed and roughly 70% to 80% of all the food at your grocery store contain unhealthy per-serving levels of sodium. This means that you are getting too much salt in your diet without even knowing it. Coupled with the fact that the first symptom of high blood pressure is often death means that you should start today cutting back on the amount of sodium in your diet.