According to leading health organizations like The CDC (Center for Disease Control) and The WHO (World Health Organization), salt consumption has a direct effect on our health. Too much salt leads can lead to health-related diseases. So what will happen when you lower your salt consumption?
1. You will lower your risk of stroke and heart disease
Heavy salt intake is the leading cause of high blood pressure. High blood pressure leads to hypertension, stroke and heart disease. Salt also increases the levels of bad cholesterol which is the leading cause of heart disease and heart attack. When you cut back on salt your blood pressure lowers, and so does the risk of stroke and other heart-related diseases.
2. You will lose excess water weight
Table salt is a common cause of excess water weight. When we have too much salt in our diet our bodies bloat. Personally, bloating shows up most in my belly and in my face. When I decrease my salt intake, I look slimmer within a couple of days. Cutting back on salt will lead to a flatter midsection and a slimmer face. This is especially noticeable before and during a period. Don’t take Midol or other water pills to eliminate unsightly and painful bloating. Just cut back on salt.
3. You will eat less
When my diet is full of salt I tend to eat more. Salt is highly addictive and just like other addictive substances, the brain receives a “reward” when it’s consumed. Naturally, we all love rewards, and so we continue to eat and ignore the body's signals to stop eating when it’s had enough. Salty foods taste better. When foods taste better, we eat more of them. Less salt allows the body to only eat enough to be satisfied as opposed to eating excess because it tastes good. When you eat less you will lose weight. When you lose weight, you will have less risk of diet-related diseases such as cancer diabetes, stroke, hypertension, heart disease, and even asthma.
4. Your palette will change
When I cut back on salt, I experiment with other herbs and veggies to enhance the flavor of my food which leads to increased consumption of veggies. It’s well known that a healthy diet consists of a variety of foods, herbs, and spices. When you cut back on salt you will start to try other flavors to enhance the flavor of food. I use more fresh garlic (which is good for inflammation, infections, digestion and the heart) onion, celery, cilantro, and other veggies. Over time your taste buds will change to appreciate more flavors. I’ve always loved vegetables but cutting salt has introduced me to a bigger variety. More veggies will lead to lower weight. Lower weight will lead to less exposure to health-related diseases.
5. Your kidneys will function better
Your kidneys are the organs that help process all of the food you put into your body. When there’s too much salt in the diet the kidneys work overtime, which can lead to excessive urination (which causes dehydration) and even kidney stones.
6. You will have more energy
As mentioned above, excess salt contributes to bloating. When we are bloated our bodies begin to feel tired and run down as it works hard to process all the salt. Cutting back on sodium will give your body a break and you will have more energy. More energy leads to more effective workouts and better sleep patterns.
7. You will feel less thirsty
Salt dehydrates the body. A dehydrated body begs for water. I’m guilty of giving my body juice when thirsty, and juice is packed full of calories and sugar. When I cut back on salt and drink water only, I cut back on sugar consumption via juice.
8. You will have fewer headaches
I suffered headaches for many years and they only went away after I learned to control my salt intake. Salty foods increase blood pressure. The number one symptom of hypertension and high blood pressure is migraine and headache. Sodium has a direct effect on your blood vessels. It causes them to expand, and that could lead to migraines and headaches. Listen to your body! Headaches are often a signal from your body to cut back on the salt.
9. Lowered risk of cancer
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), eating salt-preserved foods can lead to stomach cancer (the fifth most common form of cancer). The WHO recommends limiting your salt intake to around 5 grams or less to prevent stomach and other forms of cancer. Studies have also shown that if you already have cancer cutting back on salt can help put it into remission.
10. You will lose weight
Cutting back on salt leads to weight loss for many reasons. Less salt leads to less water retention, introduction to more veggies, and more energy. Cutting back on salt helps the body function better and properly functioning body works harder to keep itself in shape.