Salt is in EVERYTHING it seems! Just look at the labels of most of the food you eat and you will see high levels of sodium is in almost all of them. Yesterday I was shopping for chicken, plain simple wholesome chicken. But Every package I picked up stated that sodium or a sodium type additive was added to the meat! Some of this added salt brought the sodium content up to 450 milligrams per 4 oz serving! That is almost a 1/4 of a teaspoon of salt in a single serving! Since I eat three to five servings a day, WOW that would have equaled a TEASPOON of salt just from the chicken! I ended up paying more for chicken that had no salt added but I think its a healthier choice in the long run.
Here is why salt is so dangerous.
- High blood pressure: leading the pack for dangers is this one
- Risk of having a stroke: Stokes come from high blood pressure!
- Coronary heart disease: High blood pressure thickens the walls of your blood vessels making you heart work harder to push blood through.
- Stomach cancer: The bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is the major risk factor for stomach cancer as it can lead to inflammation of the stomach which can in turn lead to stomach ulcers and stomach cancer. H. Pylori in the stomach will not necessarily cause damage, however salt can damage the lining of the stomach, making it more vulnerable to the effects of H.pylori, and salt may also increase the growth and action of the bacterium making it more likely to cause damage.
- Osteoporosis: Most calcium in the body is stored in bones. A high salt diet can cause calcium to be lost from bones and excreted in the urine, making bones weak and easily broken. High blood pressure caused by a high salt diet can speed up the loss of calcium from bones, worsening the problem
- Obesity: Obesity is linked with numerous health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, CHD and sleep apnea. Salt does not cause weight gain itself but it does make you thirsty, this leads you to drink more fluids, if the fluids are sugary drinks they can cause weight gain because they contain a lot of calories. This is a major problem for children and teenagers as a third of the fluids they drink are sugary soft drinks.
- Water Retention: A high salt intake causes us to retain water, up to 1.5 liters or 3 quarts of it! Women who find they suffer from bloating may see a benefit from salt reduction.
This is just a short list, trust me there are about 10 more issues I can add. Needless to say, excessive Salt is not that great for you so you have to be vigilant about keeping an eye on how much salt your taking in. Remember 550 milligrams of salt is about a 1/4 of a teaspoon. Don’t forget most of the things we eat or drink are more than what the label says is a serving, for example: a can of condensed soup is actually 2 to 2.5 servings so you need to times the sodium on the label by how much you eat. One can of soup can contain over a 1/2 of a teaspoon of salt!
I try to keep my salt intake from all that I eat for the entire day to about 1500 milligrams. I can really tell the difference in how bloated my skin feels if I go over this. In addition to the water retention that comes from too much salt intake I find my arthritis really goes bananas if I take in too much salt.