Eating too much salt is dangerous for your body

Beware of salt. Excess sodium is bad for the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and brain. This result is supported by research from the University of Delaware in the United States that investigated the effects of salt consumption on the body beyond the known effects on blood pressure. Even those who are lucky enough to eat very salty foods without suffering pressure changes would do well to limit their consumption to protect their health.

Salt is an essential element for various physiological functions and cellular homeostasis, i.e., maintaining the organism’s biochemical balance around specific parameters that allow it to function normally. Also, it is essential for the protection of the body from excessive fluid loss. The amount needed for these purposes is relatively low, 500 milligrams per day, a threshold widely exceeded in daily nutrition: in America alone, it is over six times this threshold. According to research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, excess sodium adversely affects numerous organs. Starting with the arteries: the salt can make them thicker and compromise the integrity of the endothelium, the very thin cellular lining of blood vessels. Endothelial cells regulate, among other things, coagulation, platelet adhesion and also have an immune function.
“Damage to the endothelium favors the process that leads to atherosclerosis and therefore can cause the formation of plaques in the coronary or peripheral vessels – explains prof. Raffaello Furlan, head of the medical clinic of the Humanitas hospital and professor at the University of Milan -. Damage to the coronary arteries that supply the heart has adverse effects on the heart itself. ” The heart is also not protected from an excess of salt intake. A diet with high salt content can lead to hypertrophy of the left ventricle or an increase in the muscle mass of the heart’s main chamber, which is used to push the blood to the periphery.

Increased blood pressure

Salt affects blood pressure because it affects the volume of blood in blood vessels. Of course, it doesn’t happen to everyone. Let’s say that it is not a direct consequence. Still, there must already be a genetic predisposition, or you could be at risk because you suffer from hypertension or are very overweight.

Increases the risk of heart disease.

There seems to be a link between high-salt diets and a greater predisposition to suffer from heart disease. Why? First of all, because an excess of salt affects blood pressure, and then because this kind of diet is often characterized not only by large quantities of salt but also by fat, cholesterol, and empty calories, which can put your heart health in the long run at risk. Experimental data indicate that those brain areas from which the sympathetic stimuli that regulate the heart’s functioning and peripheral vasoconstriction originate are significantly affected. This results in excess sympathetic activity on the heart with a greater risk of cardiac arrhythmic and ischemic heart disease and obliterating arteriopathy peripheral limbs.


Choose foods that are low in sodium.

But what can be done to reduce sodium intake and thus protect the body? Each of us can choose foods with low sodium content by carefully reading the labels on the products. Many substances used for food preservation contain it. Scientific societies and large food brands could also agree to replace these food preservation additives with equivalent substances but without sodium.

What to do if you ate too much salt

You overdid the salt, and you realized it. What can you do now? First of all, drink water. You have to accommodate your body’s water demand, which should regulate the amount of sodium on its own. Then, help yourself with foods rich in potassium, an important nutrient to counteract salt’s negative effects. Then pay attention to your diet in the following days, avoiding processed and packaged foods and focusing on lots of fruit and vegetables.