Sangati Jogwar

News Highlights

  • Eating excess salt can make you feel puffy and bloated than usual.
  • It leads to swelling in the hands and feet and makes you weigh more than your usual weight.

The World Salt Awareness Week 2024 is being observed from May 13 to May 19. Salt is an important part of our diet and the right balance of sodium in the body is very much important to maintain your blood pressure levels. Salt is a combination of 40% sodium and 60% chloride and is one of the most important ingredients of all savoury dishes.

Sodium is extremely essential for the muscles and nerves to function at their maximum efficiency. Together with chloride, sodium maintains proper mineral and water balance in the body. However, despite it being such an important part of our body’s function, its excess ingestion can cause serious unpleasant effects that can be both long-term and short-term.

Short-term effects of eating salt in excess

Water retention

Eating excess salt can make you feel puffy and bloated than usual. It happens because the kidneys are aiming to establish a particular sodium-to-water ratio in the body and to compensate for the excess salt you have eaten, it is forced to hold that extra water leading to water retention. It leads to swelling in the hands and feet and makes you weigh more than your usual weight.

Blood pressure spike

A meal rich in salt can lead to a larger flow of blood volume through your arteries and blood vessels leading to a temporary rise in blood pressure. Sometimes hormones and genetics can also influence the sensitivity of a person to salt and result in an increase in blood pressure.

Increase in thirst

A salty meal can make you thirsty more than usual. It is one way for the body to correct the sodium and water ratio by encouraging you to drink more water. It can cause you to urinate more often and thus excess salt is drained from the body.

Long-term effects of eating salt in excess

Increased risk of stomach cancer

Eating salt in excess more often can lead to an increase in stomach cancer. A few studies have indicated that people who eat high amounts of salt have a two times higher risk of stomach cancer as compared to those who eat salt in moderation. Experts believe that eating salt in excess can increase the vulnerability of a person to ulcers and stomach inflammation leading to stomach cancer.

May increase the risk of premature death and heart disease

While it is not proven that eating too much salt can cause heart disease or premature death, a few studies have suggested that those who eat salt in excess have high blood pressure that causes stiffening of blood arteries and vessels. These can lead to heart disease and premature death.

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