It ensures the body's electrolyte balance, preserves the acid-base balance, plays a key role in the regular functioning of the nervous system, regulates blood circulation… Salt, which has an extremely important contribution to our health when consumed in ideal amounts, on the contrary, can turn into a 'poison' when consumed in large quantities!
According to the World Health Organization; An average of 5 grams of salt per day is enough to meet the needs of our body. However, studies show that approximately 3 times more salt is consumed than the ideal amount of salt in our country. Acıbadem Maslak Hospital Nephrology Specialist Prof. Dr. Sevgi Şahin pointed out that we consume 5 grams of salt a day from the foods we consume without adding salt to the meals and said, “Contrary to popular belief, we get a large amount of salt from processed foods such as salami, sausage or packaged snacks, not from the salt sprinkled on the food. So much so that processed foods make up a high rate of about 75 percent of sodium intake. Therefore, it is very important to stay away from processed foods as much as removing salt from the table. " says. So how does salt consumed above the ideal amount affect our health? Nephrology Specialist Prof. Dr. Sevgi Şahin talked about 6 diseases caused by excessive salt consumption; made important suggestions and warnings!
One of the most important problems caused by excessive salt consumption is the increase in blood pressure. In addition, since salt reduces its effects, it is necessary to increase the dose and frequency of blood pressure lowering drugs taken to reduce blood pressure. There is a direct and dose-dependent relationship between salt and hypertension. Reducing daily sodium consumption by 1.8 grams provides a 9.4 mmHg reduction in systolic (large) blood pressure and 5.2 mmHg in diastolic (small) blood pressure in patients with hypertension.
When blood pressure rises, the risk of stroke increases 3 times. Nephrology Specialist Prof. Dr. Sevgi Şahin pointed out that, on the contrary, reducing salt intake reduces the risk of stroke and cardiovascular diseases in the long term, “For example, when salt consumption decreases from 10 grams to 5 grams, the risk of cardiovascular diseases can be reduced by 17 percent and the risk of stroke by 23 percent. says.
Nutritional habits with high salt consumption increase the level of leptin in the blood, which causes the proliferation of fat cells in the abdominal area. Prof. Dr. Sevgi Şahin stated that the fat accumulation in the abdominal region is also an important risk factor for insulin resistance. says.
One out of every 50 women over the age of 2 and one out of every 5 men face the problem of bone fractures due to the decrease in bone density, which is an important health problem of today and called 'osteoporosis'. Excessive salt consumption causes calcium to be released from the bones and excreted in the urine. As a result, bones become weak and easily breakable.
High sodium-containing diet also increases the risk of developing a very serious condition such as 'stomach cancer'. Prof. Dr. Sevgi Şahin points out that high sodium-containing diet causes damage to the gastric mucosa and continues as follows: “A diet containing high sodium predisposes the bacterium called helicobacter pylori to damage the stomach. Cancer can also develop in the damaged gastric mucosa. Therefore, it is necessary to avoid salty, smoked and pickled foods, ”he says.
Excessive salt consumption not only raises systemic blood pressure, but also increases the blood pressure of small vessels in the kidney. As a result, the vessels rupture, causing damage to the kidney tissue. Another important problem caused by excessive salt consumption is that it causes protein leakage in the urine. With the effect of all these, important problems such as kidney stone formation or kidney failure in the long term can develop.
Dementia due to vascular disease
"Dementia due to vascular disease is the most common type of dementia." said Prof. Dr. Sevgi Şahin continues her words with the following warning: “Excessive salt consumption accelerates the progression of dementia due to vascular disease by disrupting the vascular structure and raising blood pressure. This picture, which occurs as a result of damage to the blood circulation of the brain due to atherosclerosis, negatively affects all of our mental functions. Being under control of blood pressure decreases the risk of arteriosclerosis. "
6 tips to reduce salt!
- Give up the habit of putting salt on the table.
- Flavor your food with spices instead of salt.
- When shopping, make it a habit to look at the sodium content of the packaged products as well as the expiration date. If a 100 gram product contains 1.5 grams of salt or 0.6 grams of sodium, it is included in the "high salt product" group; If there is 0.6 grams of salt or 0.1 grams of sodium, it is in the "low salt product" group.
- The salt content of foods such as mustard, olives, soy sauce and ketchup is too high. Avoid consuming these foods as much as possible. For example, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce contains 335mg of sodium (837.5mg of salt), a teaspoon of baking soda contains 530mg of sodium (1.32 grams of salt). This amount accounts for almost 5 in 1 of the daily salt intake.
- Pickled foods such as olives, pickles and cheese also contain high amounts of sodium. Avoid these foods as much as possible.
- Vegetables such as artichoke, spinach and celery are among the high-salt vegetables. So much so that 100 grams of artichoke contains 86, spinach 71, and celery 100 mg of sodium. Don't forget to reduce the amount of salt you add while cooking these foods.