How does a high-salt diet affect your body? – Reports Healthcare


Posted: August 30, 2017 at 5:43 am

A delicious meal after long hours at the office or continuous classes at school is what most people go for to reduce exhaustion in preparation for the rest of the tasks of the day. Good food is responsible for better mood and increased concentration.

In order for the meal to be good to the taste buds, a majority of the people prefer seasoned food over bland ones. Salt and spices add to the scrumptiousness. Any lesser amount of both can ruin whatever meal was supposed to taste like.Salt is used all over the world in seasoning and marinating meals to enhance tastes. In addition, it can be used on top of salads, raw fruits and veggies and even some drinks to transform a boring meal into something yummy. Some people even add and ask for extra salt for a stronger taste.The great amount of salt in the daily diets of people can be seen by looking at how almost every food requires it. From homemade meals to restaurant specials to beverages and processed, instant food salt is present in high quantities in each of these.In addition, even some desserts and conventionally sweet foods have salt in them. Salted biscuits and tea is a very popular combination. Salted pretzels are one of the most consumed street foods in the United States and Britain.Fried carnival food is usually marinated in heaps of salt, spices, and herbs before going into hot oil and even topped with raw salt when handed over to the person buying it. Salt on salt is not a very new concept.These foods, such as corn dogs or nachos are usually taken with one or more dips and sauces. Salted caramel is a classic dip used with all kinds of foods in breakfast, lunch, dinner and plain snacks. Sauces are taken with steaks, soups and even usual chips.Salt in all of the mentioned products is present in abundance. Salt, also known as Sodium Chloride constitutes a large portion of daily diets. For normal people with balanced diets, salt is not termed as harmful.However, the case can be different for people with other conditions. One in three Americans suffers from hypertension or what is called high blood pressure in common conversations. Sodium Chloride is one of the biggest contributors to high blood pressures.Studies have shown that a diet higher in salt can lead to more frequent spikes in blood pressure. This can potentially increase the risks of all high blood pressure related conditions such as cardiovascular diseases.Additionally, high blood pressure can harm other vital organs like kidneys, brain and in some cases even eyes.What does salt do to your vital organs?

Salt affects most of the major organs responsible for carrying on important processes in the body in a different way. Here are some of the ways salt can affect your body and health:

Renal health

The basic function of both of the kidneys in our body is to clean the blood and filter out any useless or excessive nutrient. Secondly, harmful substances are removed from your body safely through the procedure of excretion.In order to make this happen, a complicated procedure involving the drawing out of extra water from the blood is done by each of the kidneys. The process is also called Osmosis and is done through the membranes of cells.A concentration gradient of potassium and sodium is a prerequisite for this process to take place. The cellular membrane makes a channel between the kidney and blood stream for transfer of excess water present.Having a higher than normal amount of salt can cause difficulties for the kidneys to receive water from the cells as the concentration gradient and balance of sodium and potassium gets disturbed. Sodium from salt increases the amount of sodium in the body.There are two major effects in a situation such as described above. Firstly, the extra fluid and water in the blood start raising the blood pressure since there is no way to remove it.Secondly, the arteries carrying the blood to kidneys then experience a higher pressure on them due to the high flow of blood.If left for a long time, this condition can lead to damage of the kidneys ability to get rid of toxic substances from the body. These toxins then start piling up and accumulating in different parts of the body.While harmful substances are expected to cause damage to the entire body, high blood pressure from failed osmosis and pressure on arteries for too long can also completely make the kidneys useless. In other words, renal failure can be a result of high blood pressure due to too much salt in the diet of the person.

Heart and arteries

High blood pressure as a result of high sodium chloride intake puts excessive pressure on the walls of the arteries including the ones between vital organs such as the kidneys and the heart. The arteries then follow a defense mechanism that allows them to resist more than the usual pressure.With the passage of time, these affected arteries will become thicker and have more strength. Ultimately, they will be able to handle the strain of the pressure from the blood flow because of salted abundant diet. The arteries may be able to endure such a situation but this can cause another problem for the person.

Thicker arteries mean constriction. Less space for blood to flow will, in fact, add to the pressure. If this condition is left untreated over the course of years, the pressure of the blood becomes too much for the arteries to handle.The arteries can then become too constricted for blood to pass through. Clogging can also be commonly seen in such cases. Sometimes, the most dangerous condition of arteries bursting can happen as well since it can damage other organs and be proven fatal.The heart can be affected from the day arteries start constricting. Low levels of blood reaching the heart will initially not have that much of an effect but over the time, it can start causing unusual pains in the heart area. The occurrence of such pains is usually a sign of a potential angina attack.Lack of blood can also cause reduced performance of the cells present in the heart. Damaged arteries preventing blood flow disrupts the procedure of oxygenation of the blood. As a consequence, the entire blood in the body becomes under oxygenated with exhausted cells.The ultimate effect of the prolonged negligence of such conditions and continuance of high salt diet is a heart attack which is often the cause of death of the person.

Brain

The high blood pressure damages arteries to all organs, including the brain. Oxygen like the heart is also equally important for the brain to perform its functions. Low levels of oxygen can initially lead to vascular dementia.The result of negligence, in this case, is a stroke which is usually proven as fatal.What can you do?

If you are patient of hypertension or high blood pressure, cutting off on high sodium chloride food is a must. Start by checking the nutritional value information on products before buying them and use recipes that require less amount of salt in them. Keep in mind there are lots of other herbs and spices that can be used in place of salt.Processed foods usually have the highest amount of salt and are generally bad for health. Avoiding them mostly can help with your blood pressure and overall health. Always remember high salt intake also reduces the efficiency of medications.You cannot control your blood pressure if a change in diet is not made.

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How does a high-salt diet affect your body? - Reports Healthcare

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