More than being a condiment, salt is a mineral that our body needs to stay healthy. Our body needs a healthy dose of salt daily because we need sodium to regulate our kidneys, to control our fluid balance, to send nerve impulses, and to optimize muscle functions.
However, everything that is too much is harmful to our health. According to the American Heart Association, our body only needs about 1,500 to 2,400 mg of salt every day. Unfortunately, statistics say that Americans eat around 3,400 mg of salt daily, which is a lot higher than the recommended sodium dosage.
Consuming too much salt is not a habit that should be taken lightly. The New England Journal of Medicine says that around 1.65 million of deaths worldwide can be linked to high sodium consumption. In the U.S. alone, about 10 percent of Americans suffer from heart-related deaths due to too much sodium intake.
But what really happens to our body when we eat salt beyond the advisable dosage? To further enlighten you about this issue, listed below are 5 alarming effects of eating too much salt to your body!
 Too much salt leaves your Kidneys damaged!
The Kidney is responsible for removing unwanted fluid and toxins by filtering the blood. For this to properly occur, a balance of sodium and potassium is needed to draw the water across the walls of our bloodstream. According to an article published in Blood Pressure UK, too much salt intake alters the balance between sodium and potassium, reducing the kidney’s ability to remove water out of our bloodstream.
When this happens, you are also in a higher risk of acquiring kidney stones. A high-sodium diet increases the amount of calcium in your urine, which is a key factor in the formation of kidney stone. In addition, straining the function of the kidneys to filter water increases one’s risk of developing high blood pressure.
According to Kidney Care UK, over 3 million people in the Uk suffer from Chronic Kidney Disease. Every year, over 3000 kidney replacements occur; over 5000 patients are on the wait list while more than 40000 patients die each year due to Chronic Kidney Disease.
Our kidneys play a major role in keeping our body healthy! Eating food rich in sodium leaves the kidneys with irreparable and costly damage. Take care of your kidneys by decreasing your salt intake!
 Too much salt leaves your bones prone to Osteoporosis!
Osteoporosis is a health condition that de-mineralized the bones, leaving them thin, brittle, and more vulnerable to fracture. To keep our bones healthy, our body needs to sustain a good amount of calcium.
Unfortunately, eating too much salt decreases the calcium stored in our bones. In short, the more salt we eat, the more calcium our body lose. And calcium deficiency leads to Osteoporosis!
According to American Bone Health, a high-sodium increases the calcium in our urine. In each 100millimole per liter increase in our salt intake, we urinate calcium which is around 1.4millimole per liter. This means eating food rich in sodium leaves us losing 1% of bone every year.
Keep your bones healthy and strong! Reduce your sodium intake in order to maintain the calcium stored in your bones!
 Too much salt leaves your stomach vulnerable to Cancer!
Dr. Stephanie Fay, a Science Programme Manager at World Cancer Research Fund International, food high in sodium does not only damage the kidneys, it leaves our stomach vulnerable to cancer as well! Apparently, Stomach cancer, the fifth most common cancer in the world, can be caused by eating too much salt!
Based on the experimental study lead by Dr. Fay, salt damages the lining of the stomach which causes lesions that develop in mature stomach cancer. In addition, eating food high in sodium is an even more bad news for those infected with Helicobacter pylori bacteria. This type of stomach bacteria, alone destroys the stomach lining, adding salt to this bacteria make it even more destructive to your stomach!
Cancer is one of the deadly and costly diseases of our time. Avoid developing cancer by keeping your salt intake strictly in moderation!
 Too much salt leaves your brain impaired!
In a recent study published in the Journal of Nature Neuroscience, a habit of eating food rich in sodium increases one’s risk of developing cerebrovascular diseases and dementia.
In the experimental study, researchers found out that salty foods trigger an inflammatory immune response in the brains, leaving it oxygen deprived. This alarming reaction shows how too much salt intake destroys neurons that leads to cognitive impairments!
According to statistics, around 5 millions of Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s Dementia. Save yourself from becoming a part of this statistics by sticking to a low-sodium diet!
 Too much salt leaves you bloated!
According to Dr. Barbara Bolen, an expert in treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome, around 30 percent of Americans suffer from bloating. Apparently, food high in sodium is the reason why you feel bloated after eating. This is because food rich in sodium retains water.
Hence, if you want to stop feeling bloated and start feeling light, avoid food rich in salt! Opt for food made delicious by herbs and spices instead!
Listed above are five of the numerous reasons why one should stick with the recommended daily sodium intake. There’s a reason why dietitians and nutritionists advise people to eat only about 1,500 to 2,400 mg of salt every day. Going beyond this limit, even by just a pinch, can cause a detrimental and irreversible effect on your health!
Do yourself a favor by strictly sticking to the recommended sodium intake! Start reading the label on every food you will eat, lessen your intake of processed food, and avoid eating at fast food chains as well! We only have one body and one life to live- take precious care of it!
(Note: This article is for informational and entertainment purposes only and not to be treated as a professional opinion, recommendation or diagnosis.)