On each side, we are attacked with negative opinions about salt, which is the main source of sodium in our diet. She is accused of causing hypertension, atherosclerosis, obesity or other metabolic diseases. As a result, people often go to extremes and completely give up salting dishes. And the truth is that the total discontinuation of salt in the diet, although it happens very rarely, can lead to serious health consequences. If you want to learn about the influence of salt on health and the human figure, I invite you to read.
Consequences of excess salt in the diet
Consumption of excess salt, and with it sodium, usually occurs in people who consume heavily processed food on a daily basis. Such foods include mainly fast food, ready-made sauces or sauces in powder, bread, cold meats or salty snacks such as crisps, crackers sticks. Based on this type of food, not only that we exceed our daily demand for salt several times, we provide the body with a number of harmful preservatives, not speaking about worthless calories – which do not nourish our body, but still steal valuable micronutrients.
One of the main micronutrients that disappears from our body under the influence of excessive salt intake is calcium. And as you know, calcium deficiency very quickly lead to bone demineralization and teeth, which in turn leads to osteoporosis and weakness of the skeleton. Rinsing calcium from the body at the same time involves with calcium and magnesium imbalances that correlate with each other. Through this we can feel tired and the effectiveness of the body’s work is significantly reduced.
Consumption of excess salt also causes a strong load on the kidneys, because they are responsible for getting rid of excess sodium, which is the main ingredient of the salt. Therefore, very often people who eat excess of this element are struggling with kidney stones. Being on the topic of kidneys, it is also worth mentioning that the excess salt in particular, people with hypertension should beware and circulatory disorders. With incorrectly functioning kidneys, the density of blood increases, which means that the heart must put more work into its transport in the body.
Consequences of salt deficiency in diet
In fact, the shortage of salt in the diet is very rare and usually applies to people training body sports or athletes performing an intense endurance effort in unfavorable, hot weather conditions. A deficiency of salt can have much more serious health consequences in a much shorter time unit, because already in a few days or weeks, brain and lung edema can lead to death.
As you know, the more movement and excretion of sweat – the more we need salt. And the persistently low sodium intake may lead to adverse lipid changes and increase in insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes.
Symptoms of too low sodium intake delivered with salt are muscle weakness, concentration disorders, nausea, drowsiness, headache and dizziness.
Remember that the right amount of salt consumed guarantees the maintenance of proper water and electrolyte management and prevents overheating of the body. Also, the correct transport of carbohydrates and amino acids to the muscles would not be possible without maintaining the normal sodium concentration in the blood.
The body’s need for salt
It is really difficult to determine the universal needs of the body for salt, because it depends on many different factors. For an average person who does not do sports, the right amount will be approx. 5 g per day. On hot days, of course, this demand may increase.
It will be different in the case of intensely training athletes losing a lot of electrolytes afterwards. Here, the appropriate amount should be chosen by the observation method. If we eat quite a lot of salt and we feel weighed, holding excess water under the skin – then we should reduce this amount. However, if we eat enough of it, we feel the lack of concentration during training, the loss of strength, the head aches, and the body gets soft and fuzzy – it is a sign that we eat too little salt. It is worth remembering that a shortage of salt causes an increase in the level of aldosterone in the body, which causes the muscles to become flat and the body retains excess water. It is a defense mechanism that prevents the body from dehydrating due to insufficient sodium intake.
Salt in the context of body shaping
Does sodium intake affect body shaping? Yes. It should be remembered that sodium is the main transporter of nutrients to the cells of our body. Without it, carbohydrates will not be deposited in the muscle as backup energy in the form of glycogen, nor will the transport of amino acids necessary for the superstructure of muscle tissue take place. However, moderation should be maintained in salt intake. Continuous excess consumed in salt food can cause the above mentioned side effects, and it will not increase the absorption of nutrients at all. Their proper absorption will take place during moderate consumption of this element. In contrast, the deficiency in addition to impaired transport of nutrients will also cause a drop in strength, our figure will become flat and the muscles will lose their focus.
In conclusion, as in every aspect of our life, and in the consumption of salt, moderation should be maintained. My goal is not to persuade anyone to weigh every milligram of salt, but to listen to their body and watch closely how a specific dose affects us. If we are tempted to salty, and ordinary spring water does not taste us or causes discomfort, then it is worth considering whether we eat too much salt.Posted on: October 22, 2019