The idea that salt is bad for you isn’t exactly new groundbreaking research.
For starters, salt is bad for your heart; just about everyone knows that. Salt contains sodium, which makes up around 40% of salt.
Past research has shown that lower sodium intake can mean lower blood pressure and a lesser chance of developing cardiovascular disease.
Your body working overtime
Salt requires your body to do more than usual.
Here’s how Harvard Health Publishing explained what salt does to your blood pressure:
When you eat too much salt, your body holds on to water in an effort to dilute it. This extra water increases your blood volume, which means your heart works harder because it’s pushing more liquid through your blood vessels. More strenuous pumping by the heart puts more force on the blood vessels. Over time, this increased force can raise blood pressure and damage blood vessels, making them stiffer, which increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart failure.
In the US, 1 in 3 people are suffering from high blood pressure. A recent study found that 9 of 10 Americans — 90% of children and 89% of adults — consume too much salt based on recommended limits for sodium, and that’s just in the food they consume (not additional salt added for seasoning).
It’s clear that the warning signs are there — which might be a call for people to pay attention to what they are eating today as it can harm them down the road, argues a new study.
Research published in the journal Nutrition Research said that as you get older, we tend to not strictly follow dietary wisdom once preached to use. In Japanese adults, researchers found that salt intake averaged a 6% increase over 10 years, while the amount of salt consumed increased in a year-to-year period.
“These results suggest that dietary salt intake increases with age in Japanese adults, which should be considered in devising population-based strategies to lower dietary salt intake,” researchers wrote in the study.
The study honed in on Japanese adults who participated in a health checkup at the start of the study, and then had a follow-up 10 years later. In total, 2,598 adults participated in the study. Salt intake was measured by spot urine analysis, researchers said.
Researchers said that people who had a health checkup annually during the 10-year follow-up period even reported increased salt intake year over year, which goes to show that with age we might start becoming more lenient on our dietary habits.
What does this mean for now? It’s not exactly easy to just flip the way you eat but by paying attention to what you eat, you could stop yourself from falling into habits where salt is consumed more rapidly.
Salty foods like chips, frozen foods, and fast food are usually goods that people can target at the start of a diet and reduce their intake.
Too much salt can weaken your immune system, and even potentially lead to a worsening diagnosis, such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus, according to Healthline.