What Happens If You Eat Too Much Salt
Sodium is a mineral essential for optimal muscle and nerve function. Together with chloride, it also helps your body maintain proper water and mineral balance .
Yet, despite its essential functions, ingesting too much salt can have unpleasant effects, both in the short and long term.
This article discusses what happens in your body if you eat too much salt in a single meal or day and compares this to the long-term effects of a salt-rich diet.
Eating too much salt at once, either in a single meal or over a day, can have a few short-term consequences.
You’ll Feel Less Bloated After You Stop Eating Salt
Do you experience a lot of bloating and swelling, either during certain parts of your menstrual cycle or after meals? And are you someone who has to take your rings off on occasion because your body is retaining too much fluid? Well, salt might have something to do with that, according to Dr. Nikola Djordjevic. “Since sodium is one of the reasons for water retention, by reducing the salt intake you will actually release more water from your body,” he told The List. “You will feel less bloated and swollen.” That’s one easy way to reduce that annoying bloat.
Djordjevic isn’t alone in his observations, either, as studies have confirmed that bloating is one of the top reported gastrointestinal complaints in the United States, according to an article in Science Daily. Plus, the reason that bloating is so commonplace is because people are eating diets that are far too high in sodium. Once again, the proof is in the pudding, and it’s probably for the best to just stop eating salt.
Salt May Improve Insulin Sensitivity
Additionally, salt may be beneficial for weight loss, as it seems to improve insulin sensitivity. Acute salt restriction may lead to insulin resistance, a common cause of type 2 diabetes or obesity!
Insulin resistance can cause weight gain, as it may increase oxidative stress, inflammation, and even interfere with the proper function of mitochondria. Mitochondria are vital for the good function of the body, and especially energy expenditure.
Certainly, we need moderate amounts of sodium for good health and a normal body weight. Both excess sodium and no sodium at all, are bad for weight loss!
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A Look At The Top Eight Foods That Cause You To Bloat And Why You Should Avoid Them
Salt causes your body to retain water, predominantly around your abdomen. Akhtar Soomro / Reuters
How many times do you hear someone proclaim they are “bloated”? It is such a familiar term that we use to describe discomfort we feel in our abdomen, usually after eating.
Not long ago, medical professionals thought bloating, often reported by those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome , was but a figment of their patients’ imaginations.
According to Dr Barbara Bolen, a leading figure in the treatment of IBS, bloating is a fairly universal phenomenon, with approximately 16 to 30 per cent of the general population suffering from it. These percentages increase significantly among IBS sufferers, with 80 to 90 per cent reporting being bloated regularly.
Bloating is defined as increased pressure in the abdomen. Women are more likely to suffer than men.
The causes are many, ranging from poor digestion, stress, food intolerances, food allergies and hormonal imbalances. But there are known food culprits that, if bloating is an issue for you, definitely need to be avoided.
Beans are super healthy but if your digestion isn’t up to speed, they will cause you a problem that is not so pleasant. They contain a type of sugar that is not digestible, so gas can be produced – and bloating then is not far away.
3. Junk food
4. Cruciferous vegetables
6. Fizzy drinks
7. Refined carbohydrates
8. Chewing gum
Drinking Through A Straw
A straw might make your morning protein shake easier to sip on the run, but it isn’t doing your stomach any favors. “When you drink through a straw, you also suck air into your stomach, which can increases gas and distention in your digestive tract,” says Rumsey. Sip straight from the lid to ward off tummy discomfort.
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When You Stop Eating Salt This Is What Really Happens To Your Body
When you stop eating salt, quite a few things happen, as we often eat plenty of it in our day-to-day lives. Although you might not realize it, salt is one of the most important ingredients when it comes to cooking tasty food. Learning how to season properly is an art form too little salt means the flavor wont pop, and too much salt will overwhelm the dish. Additionally, salt can be used to preserve food for extended periods of time, making it an even more essential cupboard staple.
But as important as salt is, consuming too much of it can pose a wide variety of health risks, according to Harvard University. Combine that with the fact that most Americans consume far too much salt on a daily basis, according to the CDC, and it becomes apparent that we have a bit of a problem on our hands. To that end, it can be a good idea to be conscious of your salt intake and reduce it to a healthier amount.
What sorts of physical changes can you expect when you decrease your sodium intake? Read on to find out what happens to your body when you stop eating salt specifically table salt.
Drink Less Alcohol And More Water
Instead of reaching for that glass of red wine with dinner, swap it out for some water. “Alcohol is dehydrating, so your body responds to this by hanging onto extra fluid, like a rebound effect,” Sass explained. Drinking more water also helps flush out any excess sodium your body is hanging on to from previous salty meals.
If you don’t like to drink a lot of water because it doesn’t have much of a taste, you can boost the flavor in your glass: New York-based nutritional chef Melissa Eboli suggested adding a squeeze of lemon juice or drinking coconut water.
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You Have High Blood Pressure
Most of us may know that excessive sodium intake is linked to high blood pressure, and it might be worth watching your consumption if you have elevated blood pressure levels. Sodium acts like a magnet for water in our bodies and can pull excess fluid into our bloodstream if there’s any imbalance. This can damage our blood vessel linings over time, which creates blood clots and can put us at a higher risk for stroke or a heart attack.
Foods that are high in sodium are also often high in saturated fatand both put you at risk for worsened heart health. Step up that fiber game, try to cook more meals at home and eat those fruits and veggies to keep that sodium intake at a healthier level.
Add More Ginger Zucchini And Coconut To Your Diet
Eboli recommended avoiding foods that may cause inflammation, such as gluten, fried foods, and processed foods. Instead, Eboli said she loved adding many inflammation-fighting foods like ginger, coconut, turmeric, and lemons to her meals. “You can add those ingredients into your smoothies or juices, sprinkle some ginger on some oatmeal, or cook up some zucchini and beets to have on a salad,” Eboli said.
If you find that you’re still experiencing bloating in your face, your healthcare provider can provide you with treatment options to help resolve the issue.
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How Can I Prevent Stomach Bloating
If your stomach bloating is caused by diet or alcohol, you can help prevent it by making some lifestyle changes. Some good general guidelines include:
If the cause of your bloated stomach is something more specific, such as specific food intolerance, perimenopause or a medical condition, you might need a little help with diagnosis, treatment and prevention. Some options include:
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How To Cut Down On Salt
Since 9 out of 10 Americans get too much sodium, chances are, you might take in too much as well.
To help keep your levels in check:
- Choose fresh meats instead of packaged ones.
- When you buy frozen vegetables, choose ones that are “fresh frozen” and stay away from ones with seasoning or sauces already added.
- Read labels and check the sodium content in the foods you buy.
- When choosing spices and seasonings, go for ones that do not list sodium on their labels.
- If you eat out, you can ask for your dish to be prepared without salt.
Harvard School of Public Health: “Salt and Sodium.”
American Heart Association: “How Too Much Sodium Affects Your Health.”
Harvard Health Publishing: “Fluid retention: What it can mean for your heart.”
Better Health Channel: “Fluid retention .”
Pediatric Nephrology : “Is too much salt harmful? Yes.”
Natural Medicine: “The effect of increased salt intake on blood pressure of chimpanzees.”
Hypertension: “Effects of Sodium Reduction on Energy Metabolism, Weight, Thirst, and Urine Volume: Results from the DASH-Sodium Trial.”
Cleveland Clinic: “Too Much Salt Is Bad — For Your Heart and Your Sleep,” “Feel Bloated? 5 Odd Reasons for Your Stomach Pain,” “How Salt Can Impact Your Blood Pressure, Heart and Kidneys
Poison Control: “Sodium: Too Much of a Good Thing.”
MedlinePlus: “Sodium Blood Test.”
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Tips To Reduce Salt Intake & Lose Weight
Most sodium comes from packaged, processed foods. Even healthy foods, such as rice cakes may be high in salt, causing weight gain. You should reduce these types of foods to the minimum. Prefer fresh fruits and vegetables, along with beans, seeds, nuts, and whole cereal. Certainly, you should avoid salted nuts.
Moreover, you should limit table salt. 1/2 tsp has about 1,150 mg sodium and 1 tsp has 2,300 mg. Just a tsp of table salt provides the upper daily limit of sodium! You better skip table salt, altogether. But, if you really love the taste of salt, at least, add salt to your food right before serving. Dont add salt while cooking. Youll need a much higher dose.
Additionally, you can experiment with spices and herbs, in order, to make food taste better. Salt isnt the only option Moreover, spices and herbs are packed with phytochemicals that protect the body from oxidative stress and promote weight loss.
You’ll Feel More Energetic When You Stop Eating Salt
Feeling bloated doesn’t just make you feel uncomfortable and cramped, as well as unable to fit into your favorite clothing comfortably. Rather, it also can zap your energy levels and make you feel exhausted, according to registered dietitian Diana Gariglio-Clelland. And that can put a serious damper into your fitness routine. “When someone feels weighed down with fluid retention, it can be difficult to motivate to be active, which also increases energy levels,” she explained. So not only are you already tired, but you lose out on the energy-boosting properties of exercise.
Fortunately, if you find yourself battling the bloat on a regular basis, and feeling sluggish because of it, you can get some of that energy back if you stop eating salt. “Some people may feel more energized when reducing their salt intake because of the reduced water retention, making them feel more light and potentially more energetic,” Gariglio-Clelland continued. That way you won’t feel tempted to skip out on your exercise class next time.
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You’ll Get Fewer Headaches When You Stop Eating Salt
Do you find yourself prone to getting headaches fairly frequently? Do you keep a bottle of ibuprofen in your purse just in case one sneaks up on you? If so, you might be surprised to learn that salt could be a culprit, according to Caleb Backe, a certified personal trainer. “Sodium has a direct effect on your blood vessels which may trigger headaches,” he revealed. “Research shows that a reduction in sodium resulted in fewer headaches than participants who maintained their sodium intake.” That’s good news for headache sufferers!
The researchers made sure to narrow down what was causing the headaches, and what wasn’t. “This was regardless of the type of diet they ate the only correlation was levels of sodium,” he continued. “This means that when you stop eating salt, you’re likely to experience fewer headaches.” So even though it’s no fun cutting out the potato chips, if that can help to decrease your pain levels, it’s worth a shot.
Your Bones Will Thank You When You Stop Eating Salt
In addition to having an impact on your organs and circulatory system, eating too much salt can cause damage to your skeleton. Specifically, according to a study that was presented to the Endocrine Society, women who eat a diet that’s high in salt are at an increased risk of breaking a bone after menopause. This is regardless of a woman’s bone density, too.
Specifically, the Japanese study found that women who consume excessive salt are four times as likely to sustain a nonvertebral fracture, or a fracture anywhere but the spine, than women who eat less sodium. And according to Dr. Kiyoko Nawata, lead author on the study and a professor at University of Shimane in Matsue, Japan, changes in diet could help prevent these fractures. “Excessive sodium intake appears to be a risk factor for bone fragility,” Nawata said. “It is therefore important to consider excessive sodium intake in dietary therapy for osteoporosis.” To that end, if you stop eating salt now, your bones will be healthier in the long run.
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Can Coffee Make You Bloated
Coffee is no doubt a favorite morning drink, but some people may want to rethink their choice if they experience bloating and stomach discomfort after drinking coffee. The process of digestion in your body causes acids from food items like the one found within this beverage can irritate the lining affecting its function while also leading towards swelling which could cause pain or tightness as well these symptoms are common among those who consume them regularly!
Use Natural Powders As Potassium Supplements
If you do want to use supplements, the best option is to add a natural powder to water or a smoothie to get your potassium boost as organically as possible.
This means your body will be able to process and use the potassium to lower the salt in your body without wasting the supplement.
One perfect option is to use Beetroot Powder. Beetroot powder is very high in potassium, averaging 85 milligrams per teaspoon. Add one teaspoon to your food or a smoothie to lower your salt levels.
Beetroot is doubly effective because it is high in other nitrates, all of which help to lower salt levels. When you ingest beetroot, your body turns it into nitric oxide, which can also help with blood pressure and blood flow.
This means that when you have too much salt and feel bloated and swollen, beetroot can help get everything moving again, dealing with symptoms of high salt intake as well as actually helping remove the salt.
Another great option is to add Barley Grass Powder to your diet.
Barely grass is also high in potassium. This gives it all the same benefits as potassium-rich foods and beetroot powder.
Additionally, too much salt can cause high blood pressure, which puts strain on your heart. Vitamin K, which is crucial for heart health, in barley grass may also help you tackle this problem.
So, the barley grass can not only help beat salt bloating with potassium, but it can also help prevent heart damage from a high-salt diet.
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What Happens If You Eat Too Much Himalayan Salt
Himalayan salt carries exactly the same risks as any other type of dietary sodium: overconsumption of sodium can lead to significant health problems, and it can also worsen certain health conditions. This condition is the opposite of hyponatremia and means that sodium levels in the blood are too high.
Not All Salt Is The Enemy
However, there are certain recipes and times when you need to use salt for seasoning. And not all salt is the enemy.
Celtic and Himalayan sea salts are the ONLY salts that I recommend. These salts can be damp and grayish or pink in color, and can be bought at any health store.
Celtic sea salt is dried in the sun and the wind, preserving marine microorganisms, enzymes, and around 70 trace minerals and trace elements.
True Celtic sea salt is raw and alive, and is beneficial as it can pump extracellular fluid and help us digest carbs and fats. It can also increase stomach acid helping to build our hydrochloric acid!
The mineral magnesium, involved in over 300 detoxification pathways in the body, is only present in the sea salt when there is still moisture.
Himalayan crystal salt is also a wonderful salt. Crystal salt has spent over 250 million years maturing under extreme tectonic pressure, far away from exposure to impurities.
The salts unique structure also stores vibrational energy. All of the crystal salts inherent 84 minerals and trace elements are available in colloidal form. Meaning, they are so small your cells can readily absorb them.
It is very difficult for your body to absorb too much crystal salt since there are powerful and effective feedback loops that regulate this process.
Natural crystal salt always promotes a healthy balance and does not contribute to high blood pressure like typical table salt.
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