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Are You Eating Too Much Salt?

Too much salt, plainly put, is adversarial for your body. While salt or sodium does help your body do essential things and is something you cannot live without, too much is no good. A few jobs that salt performs are the maintenance of the proper balance of fluids in your whole body, the proper transmission of nerve impulses, and maintaining the relaxation and contraction of your muscles. Too little salt, on the other hand, is unwholesome for you too, so the key to eating salt is to eat a moderate amount that will allow it to perform the prior tasks without overstepping into the dangerous territory of excess.

Leads to Increase of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension, is a nasty side effect of taking in too much salt. For the past two decades, the incriminating link between excessive salt intake and high blood pressure has only grown. A study in 2007 showed that a decrease of salt consumption led to an according decrease in the risk of high blood pressure or hypertension. Subjects that suffered from high blood pressure meaningfully lessened the salt intake in their diets, and they saw a reduction of 25 percent in the risk of getting cardiovascular disease over the next 10 to 15 years of their lives. Similarly, their personal risk of suffering death from cardiovascular disease dropped by 20 percent over the same time period.

Leads to Increased Risk of Cardiac Enlargement

Cardiac enlargement, or left ventricular hypertrophy, is in more plain English the thickening of the muscle of the heart's left ventricle. The link between excessive salt consumption and left ventricular hypertrophy was established in research coming out of the United Kingdom in 2003. The evidence suggested that eating too much salt produced the thickening of the muscle of the heart's left ventricle; such a thickening gravely increased the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, regardless of blood pressure. In other words, even if you don't have high blood pressure from eating too much salt, you will still be at risk of getting cardiovascular disease if excessive salt intake leads to left ventricular hypertrophy.

Tips on Reducing Salt Consumption

The key to avoiding health problems that stem from eating too much salt is logically to cut back on salt intake. Since processed and packaged foods are higher in sodium, just reduce your intake of those foods and replace them with fresher foods like fruits and vegetables. If you still want to buy processed foods, you must opt for ones that are labeled with the "low sodium" indication. Finally, you can substitute salt as a flavor enhancer in your food with fresh herbs and spices to put a kick in your food. Your food will still have taste, only now it is less likely to hurt your health.

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