People who eat too much salt open the door to diseases such as high blood pressure and stroke – this is the common opinion. The Germans love salt: women eat around 8.4 grams of it every day, for men it is about ten grams. The German Nutrition Society recommends a maximum daily dose of six grams.
Is too much salt harmful?
Canadian researchers are now contradicting the constant warnings about salt consumption. According to their study too much salt is not as harmful to health as assumed on the other hand, it could even help protect the heart and blood vessels. Andrew Mente and his colleagues analyzed the data from 95,767 participants aged 35 to 70 from 18 countries for their study. The result: table salt only becomes problematic if you consume more than 12.5 grams daily – mainly Chinese people were affected.
Sodium as the cause
According to the study data, this large amount of sodium chloride from salt actually led to high blood pressure and strokes in the test subjects.
At the same time, the researchers also found evidence that salt consumption of less than 12 grams per day could lead to fewer heart attacks and a lower mortality rate – So salt could even keep us healthy. However, the Canadian scientists point out that this is only an observational study – the proven effect cannot therefore be clearly attributed to sodium chloride or sodium.
How do I know if I should go on a salt diet?
Our bodies and minds often show us whether we eat too much salt – and not just because of high blood pressure or damaged kidneys. You should take these four signs seriously:
The food tastes bland
Processed foods such as Finished products inherently have a high salt content – which gradually diminishes our taste for salty things. If you eat a lot of this kind of food, sooner or later you will probably start salting fresh food properly because you find it bland. For the most part, it is a habit to add a lot of salt. If you notice that you want to constantly salt your food, you should gradually reduce the amount of salt added – and pay attention to hidden salt traps in your other diet.
You feel bloated, your joints swell
Salt binds water – and this water retention can have several effects:
- You gain weight
- You feel bloated
- Joints like fingers and ankles swell
These symptoms often appear more in middle age.
You have an unexplained headache
You have a headache all the time – and can't explain where they come from? Then the next time you experience the symptoms, consider eating a salty dish just before. Too much salt can cause the blood vessels in the brain to expand – which is a common cause of headaches.
You have to go to the toilet all the time
The older we get, the more often we have to go to the bathroom at night. A Japanese study from 2017 showed that increased salt consumption, especially in older people, can increase the urge to urinate even more. This leads to sleep disorders and constant fatigue. When the subjects reduced their salt consumption by 25 percent, they had to use the toilet less often at night.
By the way: To do something good for your body, you can also switch from table salt to sea salt. It contains more trace elements and minerals than normal salt.