Excessive salt intake
How excessive salt intake affects your health
23 April 2021
A person’s sensitivity to salt is determined by age, genetics, hormones and their weight, according to the World Health Organisation. Excessive salt intake, especially over a prolonged period of time, may have numerous short- and long-term effects on your health and wellbeing.

Short-term effects of excessive salt intake

Too much salt can lead to water retention. This causes swelling, especially in the hands and feet, and is as a result of the kidneys working to maintain the correct sodium-water ratio in your body. Other temporary effects include an increase in blood pressure and excessive thirst.

Long-term effects of excessive salt intake

Over an extended period of time, eating too much salt can put you at risk of more serious and even life-threatening conditions, like stomach cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure.

So how much salt should you be eating?

The World Health Organisation’s recommended guidelines for salt intake for adults is 5 grams or 1 teaspoon daily.

Next time you cook opt for more flavour and less salt by using ingredients like dried herbs, lemon juice or zest, balsamic vinegar, ginger and fresh garlic to enhance the taste of your meals.

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