The World Health Organization recommends that our salt intake be kept to a maximum of 5 grams per day, this because there is much evidence that a high salt intake is associated with suffering high blood pressure or hypertension.
Hypertension is known to be associated with more than 40 percent of deaths from strokes and heart attacks, which is why it is often called « The silent killer », may already exist with no apparent symptoms, but be causing harm.
More salt? More water too
But what does salt have to do with high blood pressure? Table salt, which exists in many of our foods, but is added to many others, is sodium chloride.
The sodium contained in this compound, is essential for our body: in addition to participating in the transport of nutrients, it regulates the volume of water that exists in the fluids of our body, including the blood.
When we consume an excess of sodium, in the form of salt, the body does not efficiently eliminate the same amount of water, so that extra volume remains circulating in the body.
More blood in the blood vessels leads to higher pressure And that means that your circulatory system has to do more work than it is used to. Including your heart.
Salt and fat are not a good combination either
Blood vessels have the ability to carry a certain volume of bloodIf the characteristics of this flow change, our veins and arteries can adapt, because they are flexible.
But if that happens and is maintained for a long period of time, problems begin: that extra pressure can cause small tears in the walls of the blood vessels, causing inflammation.
In response to this, some white blood cells will arrive and begin to accumulate, forming a plaque that hardens our blood vessels.
If we also eat a high-fat diet and have a high level of cholesterol in the blood, these molecules will add to those plates, giving rise to the condition called atherosclerosis, which also contributes to raising the pressure.
Summarizing: If we eat more salt, our blood pressure rises, if that happens for a long time, then we are diagnosed with hypertension And if that condition persists for a long time, we could even have less healthy arteries.
Plaques that form in our arteries can breakWhen that happens, the body’s response is to form a clot and that not only makes it difficult for blood to pass, but it can completely block its passage.
That blood does not reach different parts of the body can be very serious, since it is the one that carries oxygen and if it does not arrive, our cells die, or at least suffer a lot.
If the blockage of blood occurs in vessels that feed the heart, it is when a heart attack, if it happens in those that feed the brain, what is called a stroke. And all that for eating a lot of salt.
Of course, hypertension, atherosclerosis, and heart disease have other causes and even genetic components. But it is not bad at all if we help our body, putting less salt in the food.