Whether salt is essential for the proper functioning of our body (it is he, for example, which helps to regulate blood pressure and which allows the proper functioning of the heart and muscles), its consumption in excess is harmful to health. The consumption limit set by the World Health Organization (WHO) is 6 g per day, the equivalent of one teaspoon. However, according to various European studies, less than 1% of the world’s adult population respects this limit. Due in particular to the high salt content of processed foods.
Too much salt: what are we risking?
“High salt intake upsets the body’s natural sodium balance,” explains to the Daily Mail Olivia Burley, nutritionist attached to the National Health Service of Great Britain. “This can lead in particular to high blood pressure”, a chronic disease that can be responsible for heart attacks and strokes.
Consuming too much salt also predisposes to stomach cancer. Thus, according to Imperial College London researcherswho have been working for a long time on how to reduce salt in our diets, 9,900 additional cases of cardiovascular disease and 1,500 cases of stomach cancer could be attributed, in their country alone, to excessive salt consumption. Finally, too much salt is also bad for the brain.
>> Discover in infographics our tips for reducing your salt intake
Too much salt: the signs to know
- You have frequent urination. Overconsumption of salt causes thirst. As you drink more, you also feel a more frequent urge to go to the bathroom.
- You have swollen feet and hands. When you consume too much salt, the kidneys fail to eliminate all the sodium, which causes edema of the hands and feet, especially if you are sedentary or work for a long time in a sitting position.
- You often have headaches. Overconsumption of salt causes dehydration which, in turn, can lead to headaches. These can go away by drinking more water but, if your headaches are frequent, ask about your salt intake. And discover, for example, healthy alternatives to replace salt in cooking.
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