Are you eating too much salt? Here's how your body lets you know

Limiting how much salt you eat reduces risk of stroke, heart disease and high blood pressure.

Even if you are not aware of how excess salt might affect your health - stroke, heart disease and high blood pressure - you do know that too much of everything is bad. The NHS recommends not eating more than a teaspoon of salt a day. But since salt is in many of the foods we eat, your body has ways of letting you know it’s had enough.

How much is too much?

The body needs salt for a number of things, and it’s why when you don’t have enough of it in your system, you may experience dizziness, nausea, headache and muscle fatigue, according to Cleveland Clinic. However, as with the case of sugar, the common problem is not that people aren’t eating enough salt. Registered dietician, Julia Zumpano, RD said:

If you eat more than that [recommended amount] in one day, it’s not going to hurt you. But if you consistently exceed the recommended amount, you’re eating too much, and it can impact your health.
Getty/ Peter Dazeley

Signs of high salt levels in the body

Quite apart from increasing your risk of stroke and heart disease, there are more immediate reactions to having too much salt in your body. These include:

  • Bloating
  • Increased thirst
  • Rise in blood pressure
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Puffiness
  • Weight gain

Zumpano explains that high levels of sodium can also have a negative effect on your kidney function.

If you only check your blood pressure once a year at your checkup, it could be normal that day. Perhaps you’ve fasted, had a cup of coffee, peed a lot, and so your blood pressure seems fine. But it might not be so normal if you were tested after eating out at a restaurant.

Read more:

These common foods in your kitchen contain more salt than is required

Heart disease warning: Dissolvable paracetamol contains more salt than a McDonald’s Big Mac

We Bet You Didn’t Know Salt Had All of These Amazing Uses

Are you eating too much salt? Scientists determine how much you should really eat in a day Are you eating too much salt? Scientists determine how much you should really eat in a day