Who doesn’t love some wonderfully salty pretzels or mixed nuts with some chilled beer at the end of a brutal week at work? Or some hot wings, french fries, or tortilla chips with cheesy dips while watching Monday night football? Delicious and comforting as these foods may sound, they are laden with enormous amounts of salt. And it’s not just these so-called “junk” foods that are high in salt. Even everyday food products such as lunch/deli meats, poultry, and salad dressings have way too much salt. Why is this bad? Because too much salt/sodium poses a number of health risks.
What Happens If You Eat Too Much Salt?
As per research cited by the Centers for Disease Control, there is a “close-dependent relationship” between too much salt intake and high blood pressure. Consuming high amounts of sodium makes our bodies retain water in our bloodstream and that raises the volume of blood in our bodies. This leads to high blood pressure (hypertension), which in turn can damage the arteries and organs, particularly our brain, kidneys, and eyes.
Hypertension and prehypertension also increase the chances of suffering heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease, and eye problems. And if that’s not worrisome enough, the American Institute for Cancer Research holds that high salt intake is a likely cause of stomach cancer.
Other studies have shown that high sodium levels can cause cognitive decline in older adults