Everyone knows that salt is associated with high blood pressure but do you know why? It is because an excess amount of salt in your body retains too much fluid thus resulting in higher blood pressure. The end result is that your heart will need to work harder and this is never a good thing. Too much salt will increase the risk of heart failure, stroke, osteoporosis, kidney disease and even stomach cancer.
Today in the U.S. between 50 and 70 million people suffer from hypertension and a lower salt intake would benefit them quite a bit. One of the problems is that we like salt. The right combination of fat, salt and sugar is something that all mammals enjoy although it is very bad for our health. The other problem is that just about everything we eat today is very high in salt even though we may not realize it.
In fact, most of us are consuming twice the amount of salt that we should. The average American eats about 3,400 milligrams of salt a day but the recommended amount is a maximum of 2,300 milligrams. People with diabetes or high blood pressure should consume no more than 1,500 milligrams a day but most of the processed foods that we buy at the local store are loaded with sodium. Eating at your favorite restaurant is also quite unhealthy most of the time and to make matters worse there really is no way to measure the amount of salt in food that is being prepared for you.
According to most experts avoiding processed or canned foods altogether is the best solution but preparing 3 meals a day from scratch is more time consuming that most of us could possibly manage with our busy schedules. Being aware of the dangers of salt is the first step to avoiding future health problems and consuming fresh, whole, natural foods whenever possible will be of great benefit to you in the years to come.