5 Scary Signs your Body is Taking Too Much Salt



Contrary to what you might think, salt is an essential nutrient for strong muscles, proper nerve function and fluid balance—and our bodies need a little bit every day.

While there is currently no limit on the amount of salt allowed in our food—the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers salt as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS)—our nation's current dietary guidelines encourage us to consume no more than 2,300 mg per day.

Unfortunately, since most people regularly eat processed food without limits on salt, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans reports that most are consuming closer to 3,400 mg per day. This increases the risk for heart disease, kidney disease, osteoporosis and even cancer.

When you over consume salt (found in many packaged foods), your body is likely to show both short- and long-term effects, especially if you exercise. Research published in the European Journal of Urology found that too much salt in the diet could be the reason men and women have trouble sleeping through the night. Excess sodium leads to nighttime bathroom visits, according to the research results.

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Here are seven obvious signs you’re eating too much salt:

  1. You notice swelling & bloating

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Too much of salt can lead to edema which is basically swelling of body tissues. Excessive presence of salt in the blood causes a fluid imbalance which draws water out of your cells into your bloodstream thus resulting in swelling & fluid retention.

This swelling is generally observed on the fingers and around the ankles. In addition to your swollen fingers, your stomach may balloon out too due to overdose of salt & cause bloating which is characterized by build-up of gas and discomfort in your tummy.

  1. Your food tastes bland

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In addition to all the health risks, consuming loads of salt can actually tweak your taste buds so your food tastes less delicious over time, says Mandy Enright, R.D.N., a nutritionist and fitness trainer in New Jersey. The more salt you eat, the more you need to get that same mouthwatering response.

“Many people may not realize how much excess sodium they are taking in as a result of changing or dulling taste buds from excess salt exposure,” Enright says. In other words, it’s a slippery, salty slope.

  1. Your head is pounding
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You might not think those salty chips you chowed down have anything to do with your throbbing headache. But research suggests otherwise: Adults who ate 3,500 mg of sodium per day had nearly a third more headaches than those who only took in 1,500 mg, found a study published in the BMJ.

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There's a strong link between high blood pressure and headaches. But heavy salt eaters in this study were more likely to get headaches even if their blood pressure was normal. Experts aren't sure why, but the takeaway is clear: If your head feels like it's ready to explode, try cutting back on the salt.

  1. You feel so swollen

If you suddenly feel all puffed up or even notice that you've magically gained weight overnight, excess sodium could be the culprit. “Salt acts like a magnet to water, causing you to retain fluids,” Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D.N., founder of Better than Dieting and author of Read It Before You Eat It, tells SELF.

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Your jewelry might even be the tip-off. If you know of someone who, when he/she has a bowl of soup, needs to start taking off their rings because of tightness can be a sign of too much salt in the body.

The fix for this one is pretty easy: In addition to cutting back on your sodium intake, drink more water, says Zeitlin, who explains that water helps get the excess sodium out of your system. You can also avoid bloat-causing foods and instead load up on foods that help reduce bloating.

  1. Frequent urination

One of the most obvious signs of excessive salt consumption is frequent urination. Sometimes, drinking too much salt might not be the cause of your frequent urination. Eating too much salt can also be the cause. In order to stop this, it's better to cut your salt intake of salt and also drink plenty of fluids in order to get rid of the excess salt.




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