This is how you know you're eating too much salt

Learn how too much salt affects your health...

© Emmy Smith / UNSPLASH

Even if you are not aware of how an excess of 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.

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Salt, striking the right balance

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.

Immediate reactions to excess salt

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.

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Cleveland Clinic: Is Salt Bad for Your Health?


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