Maspeth Martial Arts - Salt and your Health

Effects of Salt on your Health

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Effects of Salt on your Health!

Salt has been used by humans not only for cooking and preserving foods but also as a currency for thousands of years, its use dates as far back as 6050 BC. Most of us think of salt as the most simple and obvious food seasoning found in every kitchen and household. We know it possesses antibacterial properties. But is that all there is to it?

Salt, or in chemical terms, sodium chloride is an essential element in the diet of not only humans but of animals, and even of many plants. It is one of the most effective and most widely used of all food preservatives. Simply speaking, without salt, there is no life. Sodium ions are present and necessary in most living organisms. Salt is involved in regulating the fluid balance of the body. The sodium ion supports signaling in the nervous system.

Now that we established salt is not only beneficial but most of all needed in human lives, let’s consider how it should be consumed and if it’s safe. The media bombard us with warnings about consuming too much salt, and many processed food products available on the market have added salt in them. The United States Department of Health and Human Services recommends that individuals consume no more than 1500–2300 mg of sodium (3750–5750 mg of salt) per day depending on age. Let’s take a closer look at the risks associated with high salt intake.

Salt increases blood pressure

High blood pressure leads to strokes and heart attacks which are currently amongst the most dangerous killers amongst adults.

High salt intake is linked to stomach cancer

A diet high in salt increases the risk of stomach cancer. A quarter of the 7000 new cases each year can be attributed to salt. High salt intake may make the stomach more vulnerable to the carcinogenic bacteria.


Osteoporosis is a condition which causes thinning of bones, making them brittle and prone to breaking. A high salt diet can cause calcium from the body to be flushed out (including the bones) and excreted in urine, weakening the bones. High blood pressure caused by a high salt diet can speed up the loss of calcium, deepening the deficiency.

Kidney Stones and Kidney Disease

Kidney stones are formed due to accumulation of calcium in the kidneys. High salt intake and high blood pressure can cause too much calcium to be excreted by the kidneys into the urine, causing kidney stones.

Salt leads to many other conditions such as water retention, bloating, diabetes and exacerbates symptoms of other conditions such as asthma. Avoid processed foods such as smoked meats, bacon and fast foods and always read the labels in order to keep your salt levels under control.


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