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Satisfying your salty food cravings puts you at greater risk of cancer

by , 18 September 2014

If snatching the saltshaker off the table before you even taste your food has become a habit, listen up.

The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) says a whopping 14% of stomach cancer cases are due to high salt diets.

It's true!

One in seven cases of stomach cancer is preventable and high salt consumption is the reason it develops in the first place.

What's really shocking is that stomach cancer is one of the hardest to treat and get into remission because of late detection.

Here's what a large-scale study found out about stomach cancer and salt…

You’re 68% more likely to develop stomach cancer if you eat lots of salt

A study by the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism took seven other studies and analysed the data.
Researchers divided the data from 268,718 participants into groups who had a high, moderate or low salt intake.
And the evidence was clear.
Those with a high dietary salt intake were 68% more likely to develop stomach cancer.
It’s all because a huge percentage of the population eats almost 1.5 times the amount of salt they should!
And it’s what lives inside your stomach that, when there’s a high salt influx, it makes it the perfect spot for cancer cells to form.
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Salt promotes H. Pylori bacteria to invade your stomach

A bacteria, called H. Pylori, is in about 2/3 of the population’s stomach in small amounts, says the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s not enough to harm you but that changes when you eat salt.
Salty food help the bacteria to grow and this is what increases your stomach cancer risk.
Because they’re able to produce compounds that neutralise stomach acid, this makes the environment even better for them to proliferate and grow.
As this happens, they release toxic compounds that change the cells within your stomach. And they become cancerous cells as they grow and change.
Some studies say they also interfere with your immune response. When dangerous cells form, your immune system doesn’t get the message to attack them.
Experts in the field believe infection with H. Pylori is the most common cause of stomach cancer there is. And it just becomes worse when eat too much salt.
And no matter how careful you are, you’re probably eating a ton more salt than you realise…

You’re eating 43% more salt than is recommended every day

The WCRF says on average, everyone eats 43% - or 2,6g – more than the 6g daily-recommended amount every day.
Only 15% of the total amount of salt comes from foods that naturally contain it. It’s the processed foods you eat that give you an exorbitant 75% salt, while the remaining 10% is from the saltshaker.
It’s in things like packet soups, bacon, bread, cured and smoked meat, cheese, pickles, nuts and seeds, snack, fast food and tinned vegetables. The sheer salt content in these foods is what causes your daily salt intake to skyrocket.
But what does the salt actually do that increases your stomach cancer risk?
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Start protecting your stomach health by putting the saltshaker down

So, isn’t that a good enough reason to check how much salt you eat and make the necessary changes to reduce it?

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