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Why rour salt shaker maybe a problem

By Faith Kariuki Biongo | Published Sun, August 5th 2018 at 10:01, Updated August 5th 2018 at 10:06 GMT +3
Salt shaker. [Photo: Courtesy]

Table salt contains sodium, an essential nutrient that works as an electrolyte to transport nerve impulses and maintain the body’s fluid balance. It is composed of 60 per cent chloride and 40 per cent sodium. 80 per cent of the sodium we eat mainly comes from processed foods, most natural foods like milk, vegetables and some cereals.

The World Health Organisation recommends that adults keep their salt intake at just under 5 grammes of per day. This is just under a teaspoon of salt per day. Children should consume even less with quantity reducing as age goes down.

Due to various sources of sodium in the diet, most people consume more than double the recommended amounts.

Raised blood pressure

The amount of salt you eat has a direct effect on your blood pressure. Salt makes your body retain too much water which raises your blood pressure. High blood pressure puts a strain on your heart, arteries, kidney and brain.

Excess intake of salt interferes with the delicate balance of sodium and potassium in the body which reduces the kidney’s ability to remove excess water which results in high blood pressure.

High blood pressure in turn puts an extra strain on the inner walls of blood vessels. To cope with this strain, the small muscles in these vessels become stronger and thicker which reduces the space inside the vessel and subsequently raises the blood pressure even higher.

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Angina

A continued excess salt intake fuels this vicious cycle and over the years, blood vessels become too narrow making it hard for body organs like the heart to receive timely and adequate oxygen. Reduced amount of oxygen to the heart can cause angina, a condition that causes sharp pain in the chest especially during physical activities or when one is active. With time, the effects can become severe to cause a heart attack.

Dementia

High blood pressure also causes gradual damage to blood vessels leading to the brain reducing the amount of blood and oxygen reaching the brain which can cause dementia, a condition that interferes with memory and other thinking skills. The brain cells don’t work effectively since they are not receiving enough blood and oxygen. If the problem persists over time, a person can get a stroke.

It is important to note these effects do not occur to people of a specific age group but eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure at any age.

Sea salt better?

Other alternative salts like sea salt aren’t better than the normal table salt. No salt is better than the other. Regardless of the source, it is the effect of the sodium that counts.

When people who are used to taking too much salt reduce their intake, they may find food tasteless at first but their taste buds soon become accustomed and they can begin to enjoy range of flavour that is normally masked by the salt.

 

Table salt contains sodium, an essential nutrient that works as an electrolyte to transport nerve impulses and maintain the body’s fluid balance. It is composed of 60 per cent chloride and 40 per cent sodium. 80 per cent of the sodium we eat mainly comes from processed foods, most natural foods like milk, vegetables and some cereals.

The World Health Organisation recommends that adults keep their salt intake at just under 5 grammes of per day. This is just under a teaspoon of salt per day. Children should consume even less with quantity reducing as age goes down.

Due to various sources of sodium in the diet, most people consume more than double the recommended amounts.

Raised blood pressure

The amount of salt you eat has a direct effect on your blood pressure. Salt makes your body retain too much water which raises your blood pressure. High blood pressure puts a strain on your heart, arteries, kidney and brain.

Excess intake of salt interferes with the delicate balance of sodium and potassium in the body which reduces the kidney’s ability to remove excess water which results in high blood pressure.

High blood pressure in turn puts an extra strain on the inner walls of blood vessels. To cope with this strain, the small muscles in these vessels become stronger and thicker which reduces the space inside the vessel and subsequently raises the blood pressure even higher.

Angina

A continued excess salt intake fuels this vicious cycle and over the years, blood vessels become too narrow making it hard for body organs like the heart to receive timely and adequate oxygen. Reduced amount of oxygen to the heart can cause angina, a condition that causes sharp pain in the chest especially during physical activities or when one is active. With time, the effects can become severe to cause a heart attack.

Dementia

High blood pressure also causes gradual damage to blood vessels leading to the brain reducing the amount of blood and oxygen reaching the brain which can cause dementia, a condition that interferes with memory and other thinking skills. The brain cells don’t work effectively since they are not receiving enough blood and oxygen. If the problem persists over time, a person can get a stroke.

It is important to note these effects do not occur to people of a specific age group but eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure at any age.

Sea salt better?

Other alternative salts like sea salt aren’t better than the normal table salt. No salt is better than the other. Regardless of the source, it is the effect of the sodium that counts.

When people who are used to taking too much salt reduce their intake, they may find food tasteless at first but their taste buds soon become accustomed and they can begin to enjoy range of flavour that is normally masked by the salt.

 


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