Why is salt bad for health?

Why is salt bad for health?

What is salt?

Salt is mainly composed of sodium chloride (NaCl). It can occur in its natural state as sea salt. This contains mineral salts and is generally rich in sodium and magnesium.

We can also find refined salt which is the most used. The latter is prepared from rock salt found in salt mines. It has the familiar white, crystalline appearance and is enriched with iodine and fluorine, for health reasons. Indeed, iodine helps fight goiters and thyroid insufficiency. In addition, fluorine contributes to the strengthening of enamel and prevents dental caries.

What are the benefits of salt?

When it comes to nutrition, the doses make all the difference. Salt is essential for the proper functioning of the body, but only in small quantities. Moreover, the WHO (World Health Organization) recommends a consumption not exceeding 2 grams per day . This amount of salt provides the minerals and trace elements that help maintain optimal body hydration. Salt, more particularly sodium, plays an important role in the nervous system, in the regulation of blood volume and in particular helps the proper functioning of muscles and the heart.

What is important to remember is that the optimal amount of salt can be found in the natural foods that we consume on a daily basis (spinach, salmon, meat, etc.). If in addition to this, we add table salt or very salty foods such as cheese, ham or anchovies, this can be dangerous for our health and can cause serious illnesses.

Dangers of salt, the dose makes the poison

Over the past decade, researchers have become increasingly concerned about the harmful consequences of excessive salt consumption. According to the most recent scientific research, the overconsumption of salt is responsible for several thousand cardiovascular accidents each year, often fatal.

Let’s explain this more closely. A large amount of salt in the body leads to problems with water retention. That is to say, the body begins to accumulate more water than it evacuates, the scientific term to describe this is oedema. These problems of water retention or abnormal accumulation of liquid can have several consequences, in particular of an aesthetic nature, but especially physiopathological. High blood pressure is the major consequence. It is a chronic disease with the highest mortality rate in the world. It cannot be cured, and if it is not controlled, it can cause various defects altering the balance and the general homeostasis of the organism. That’s not all, women who take a large amount of salt are more prone to cellulite. Moreover,

It is important to note that cardiovascular diseases can have a genetic component. Thus, some people are genetically predisposed to develop this type of disease. Excessive salt consumption in this category considerably increases the risk of the appearance of these pathologies. Moderate or reduced consumption is therefore strongly recommended.

The heart and skin are not the only targets of salt, but there is a strong link between overconsumption of salt and the onset of osteoporosis. The latter is a disease characterized by the weakening of the bones. The presence of this mineral in too large quantities in the body promotes the elimination of calcium through the urine. Since calcium plays a major role in bone mineralization, its elimination leads to bone weakening.

Finally, high salt intake can lead to heart or kidney failure in some people.

Should salt be eliminated from consumption?

Although the harmful effects of overconsumption of salt mentioned above are very real, it should still not be completely eliminated from your plate. The ideal is to respect the recommended daily intake which is 2 grams.

You should also know that the foods we buy contain a lot of salt such as bread, cheese, cold meats and of course ready meals and fast dishes. This is the reason why everyone is exposed to an overconsumption of this food. Paying attention to your health and your salt intake not only means throwing the salt shaker away, but also being very vigilant when buying food, because it often contains surprising quantities.

Some practical advice to reduce your salt intake

Evaluate your sodium intake

It is important to know that there are 2 types of salt, hidden salt and visible salt.

Hidden salt is salt found naturally in food or added to industrial products. It represents the main source of sodium consumption.

Visible salt is the amount you put in your dishes when cooking or outside of it. So you can easily control your visible salt intake.

Read labels carefully

When shopping, take the time to read the nutrition facts table on the product label. Read the amount of salt listed there and for the same type of product, compare the salt content for each. Promote the purchase of foods low in sodium.

Take it easy with the salt shaker

A good habit to get into when cooking, use a single pinch of salt. Often this is enough to add flavor. Also, remember that it’s all a matter of habit, if you get used to eating less salt, you will manage to do it more naturally.

Finally, avoid leaving the salt shaker on the table, this simple trick will allow you to enjoy your meal without thinking about adding salt.

Learn about salt-rich items

In order to properly control your consumption. Be aware of foods high in salt and try to replace them with less salty products. For example, instead of eating a croque monsieur, think of avocado toast!

To season your dishes, use ingredients other than salt

Several foods can bring taste and flavor to your dishes, without using the salt shaker. You can use aromatic herbs such as Herbes de Provence, or spices (curry, paprika, pepper, etc.) to bring colors and flavors to your small dishes!

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