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The Tricky Relationship Between Salt And Your Heart

A mineral that is necessary for life is sodium. Your kidneys manage it, and it aids in maintaining the proper fluid balance in your body. Additionally, it influences how nerve impulses are sent and how muscles work.


Although the majority of Americans consume too much sodium, your body requires a small amount of sodium to function. Blood pressure can be increased by consuming a lot of sodium, and high blood pressure is a significant risk factor for heart disease and stroke. 1 The majority of the sodium we eat comes from salt.


How sodium affects your heart?


Extra salt in your bloodstream attracts water, which raises the overall amount of blood (volume) in your blood vessels. Blood pressure rises as more blood flows through your blood vessels. It's similar to turning up the water supply to a garden hose because as more water is forced through the hose, the pressure inside it rises.


High blood pressure over time may strain or damage the blood vessel walls and hasten the accumulation of gummy plaque, which can obstruct blood flow. The heart has to work harder to pump blood throughout the body, which wears it out. Additionally, having too much water in your body can cause bloating and weight gain.


Because high blood pressure sometimes has hidden symptoms, it is referred to as the "silent killer." It's one of the main causes of heart disease, the leading cause of death around the globe. Nearly nobody is given a free pass. It is anticipated that 90 percent of American adults will experience high blood pressure at some point in their lives.


Eating less sodium can help slow the rise in blood pressure that comes with aging, even if you don't already have high blood pressure. Additionally, it can lower your chances of kidney illness, osteoporosis, stomach cancer, migraines, a heart attack, heart failure, and stroke.


The optimum amount of salt


It is advised that we consume no more than 6 g, or roughly a teaspoon, of salt per day. We still have a ways to go because we are currently ingesting 8.1 g per day, which is almost a third more than the maximum advised amount.


How to lower your salt consumption?


A certain quantity of salt in our diets becomes habitual as we develop a taste for it. If you quickly and substantially reduce your intake, you could initially notice that your food lacks flavour. However, salt is not the only source of flavour. Black pepper, chilli, lemon, fresh and dried herbs, spices, and condiments are all excellent flavour enhancers. You won't notice the loss as much if you replace the salt you're cutting with these additional flavor enhancers. You can have the same flavor impact with less salt because it only takes our taste buds three weeks to adapt and become more sensitive to salt.


What are the benefits of lowering your salt intake?


Eating less sodium will help you avoid other side effects of too much salt, such as bloating and high blood pressure. 

  • The risk of heart disease and stroke decreases with the treatment of high blood pressure. Lowering blood pressure is especially beneficial for those with raised and high blood pressure.
  • High incidences of hypertension, heart attacks, and stroke are attributed to sodium intake from processed and restaurant foods. Reducing sodium intake could stop thousands of deaths annually because high blood pressure is a factor in roughly 500,000 fatalities each year.
  • With little to no change in customer behaviour, manufacturers might gradually lower the quantity of salt in processed and prepared meals, lowering public intake of sodium to safer levels.


DR. Ritesh Kumar Gupta
Cardiac Care
Meet The Doctor
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