7 signs that you eat too much salt and harm yourself
Have noticed something like this – urgently review your diet.
Salt is this: it is not so easy to refuse salt – that is, sodium chloride. And there is a serious reason for this. But there are many more reasons to cut the amount of NaCl in your menu.
Life hacker understood the origins of the human passion for the salty and the symptoms that clearly say that it is worth eating it less.
Why do we love salty so much
The answer to this question lies in evolution. Each of us is a descendant of a man who survived largely because he loved salt. And we, in fact, are alive and healthy only because our body receives a sufficient amount of salt.
Blood is salty. This is a good example of how important salt is.
Sodium and chlorine ions play one of the key roles in maintaining the body’s water balance and the functioning of muscle fibers. In addition, sodium ions are involved in the transmission of impulses of the nervous system. Deficiency of any of these two elements for the body is catastrophic: it leads to dehydration, accelerated leaching of essential microelements from the body, weakness and, as a result, rather quick death.
Fortunately, humanity has long been lacking salt. However, this was not always the case. In the days of the Paleolithic with table salt, mankind was strained. With the exception of the sea coast, it was not so easy to get sodium chloride: it is contained, in particular, in meat, so our ancient ancestors had to run for the necessary ions.
But hunting is still everywhere. The situation was aggravated when mankind settled deep into the continents was carried away by agriculture, and the diet changed dramatically to the plant side. Vegetables, fruits, cereals have a lot of potassium, but practically no sodium. It was then that our ancestors appreciated the taste of rock salt, as it became the key to survival.
Next, simple evolutionary logic acted. If you consider salt to be tasty, then you will be healthy, alive and leave offspring, at the same time passing on to him a love of sodium chloride and the habit of salt food. If you consider the salty tasteless, you won’t leave anything. They literally prayed for salt. So, the ancient Roman historian Tacitus spoke of Germanic pagans who deified salt sources. Soldier, soldo, salary (English “salary”), even sweetness – all these words, as linguists suggest, came from the root of “salt”.
Why eat less salt
For tens of thousands of years, humanity has been literally obsessed with salty. So is it any wonder that we show love for sodium chloride?
But there is an important nuance. Taught by a long evolution, the human body greatly appreciates sodium. And trying to keep it to the last drop. This played into people’s hands in an era when salt was scarce. But now its excess. And the body functions in the same way as in previous, “slightly salted” times! As a result, sodium accumulates and instead of the expected good becomes evil: it causes problems with the heart, blood vessels, stomach, kidneys and not only.
How to understand that you eat too much salt
If you are not on a salt-free or vegetable diet, then most likely you are consuming excess NaCl anyway. Mayonnaise and other sauces, fast food, sausages, sausages, smoked meats, canned food, not to mention traditional fish and meat, are all sources of sodium.
WHO and other reputable sources The Salt Myth – How Much Sodium Should You Eat Per Day? recommend eating a maximum of 1,500–2,300 mg of salt per day. And this is less than 1 teaspoon.
Fortunately, to some extent, our body is still able to deal with an excess of salt: in the end, we have kidneys that can remove excess sodium in the urine. But their hatching abilities are limited.
There are several obvious signs that the kidneys do not have time to get rid of the amount of sodium chloride that you load into yourself daily. That means you are jeopardizing health. These are the symptoms.
1. You notice that you have begun to think worse
Excess salt significantly affects cognitive function of the brain. Proved by Canadian scientists who have studied the association between the Dietary Sodium Intake and Cognitive Function in Older Adults between the amount of NaCl in a daily diet and the ability to think quickly, learn new things, and so on. The subjects of the study were 1,200 adults, and on their example, the relationship “more salt – less brain” was established quite obviously.
With age, kidney function worsens, and therefore even the amount of salt that you are used to in young years becomes superfluous. The older you are, the more important it is to carefully monitor the diet and, if necessary, make changes to it, replacing salt with less dangerous seasonings.
2. You often feel thirsty
Excess sodium upsets the water-salt balance in the body. To restore it, the body requires more water: the liquid will help the kidneys remove excess NaCl. Therefore, salty causes an acute attack of thirst. Everything seems to be fine, but not very good. Firstly, this is an increased burden on the kidneys, and secondly, due to the additional fluid, the blood volume increases.