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Effects of Sodium on our Body

Sodium is essential for our body and there are a lot of positive and negative effects of sodium on our body.

Effects of Sodium on our Body

Sodium is essential for our body and there are a lot of positive and negative effects of sodium on our body.

Salt, also known as sodium chloride, is about 40% sodium and 60% chloride.

It flavors food and is used as a binder and stabilizer. It is also a food preservative, as bacteria can’t thrive in the presence of a high amount of salt.

The human body requires a small amount of sodium to conduct nerve impulses, contract and relax muscles, and maintain the proper balance of water and minerals.

Eating too much salt can make it harder for your kidneys to remove fluid, which then builds up in your system and increases your blood pressure.

A high salt intake can raise blood pressure, which can damage the body in many ways over time and this is one of the many effects of Sodium.

High blood pressure has been linked to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and other health problems.

However, not everyone is equally sensitive to high levels of salt.

Food Sources of Sodium

Sodium isn’t generally a nutrient that you need to look for because it finds you. 

Almost any unprocessed food like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, meats, and dairy foods is low in sodium.

Most of the salt in our diets comes from commercially prepared foods, not from salt added to cooking at home or even from salt added at the table before eating. 

More than 70% of the sodium we consume comes from packaged, prepared and restaurant foods.

The rest of the sodium in the diet occurs naturally in food (about 15 percent) or is added when we’re cooking food or sitting down to eat (about 11 percent). 

So even if you never use the salt shaker, you’re probably getting too much sodium.

Sodium and Health

In most people, the kidneys have trouble keeping up with excess sodium in the blood.

As sodium accumulates, the body holds onto water to dilute the sodium. This increases both the amount of fluid surrounding cells and the volume of blood in the bloodstream.

When there’s extra sodium in your bloodstream, it pulls water into your blood vessels, increasing the total amount (volume) of blood inside them.

With more blood flowing through your blood vessels, blood pressure increases. It’s like turning up the water supply to a garden hose — the pressure in the hose increases as more water is blasted through it.

Increased blood volume means more work for the heart and more pressure on blood vessels.

Over time, the extra work and pressure can stiffen blood vessels, leading to high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.

High blood pressure is known as the “silent killer” because its symptoms are not always obvious. It’s one of the major risk factors for heart disease.

It can also lead to heart failure.

There is some evidence that too much salt can damage the heart, aorta, and kidneys without increasing blood pressure, and that it may be bad for bones, too.

The best way to stay on top of your sodium intake is to read food labels.

Making your own meals, rather than purchasing premade items, can give you more control over how much salt is in your diet.

Also, instead of reaching for your salt shaker, opt instead to season food with herbs or spices.

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