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Warning: Your high salt intake could be harming your heart

by , 27 December 2013

Almost everything you eat that isn't in its natural form contains salt. An average person eats double the amount of salt that they should be per day. The effects on your health, especially your hear,t are frightening. Be savvy with your salt intake and protect the health of your heart.

Sodium is the form of salt that your body uses. Next time you’re having a look at the nutritional values of something you have bought at the shop, check how much sodium it contains. 
 
You’re only supposed to be getting around 1,500mg a day. This is equivalent to less than a teaspoon of salt! One fast food burger is already a third of this at 500mg. 
 
That doesn’t leave much more for the rest of your meals.
 
Salt is essential in small amounts to keep your body running
 
The importance of salt in your diet it to keep the fluids in your body moving around properly. 
 
Salt also makes nerve impulses transmit smoothly.
 
Your muscle contractions rely on the exchange of salt. 
 
Your kidneys hold and release salt to maintain balance in your body
 
In people with normal salt levels, your kidneys function well. When there’s a little too much salt, they get rid of it. When there’s too little they hold on to it.
 
These little excretory machines weren’t made to deal with the amounts that’s now taken in through our diets, and they struggle when there’s far too much. 
 
The easiest way for your kidneys to keep coping, is to just leave the excess salt flowing around in the blood. This then deposits in the arteries and becomes hard. Now you’ve got narrowed arteries and your blood pressure goes up
 
The higher your blood pressure, the harder your heart muscles need to pump to get the blood through to the rest of your body. 
 
Your heart muscle becomes strained and overworked. Like any other muscle in your body, this tends to lead to injury and your heart starts to fail. 
 
An easy solution to decrease the risk of heart failure is to decrease your salt intake
 
It’s as easy as taking in less salt. But don’t only try this when it’s too late, change your diet immediately. Become salt savvy and protect your heart. 
 

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