A salty So­lu­tion

Hello, this is your kid­neys call­ing. Lis­ten, we’re gonna Need you to lay off the salt. Se­ri­ously, it’s for your own good!

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Betterheal­th -

You might not con­sider your­self much of a salt fiend, but it’s quite pos­si­ble you’re in­ad­ver­tently con­sum­ing way more than you think. Like sugar, salt – aka sodium chlo­ride – is every­where; just be­cause you don’t add it to recipes or shake it on at the table doesn’t mean you’re safe from its sneaky reach. Al­though we need a cer­tain amount of sodium for op­ti­mum nerve and mus­cle func­tion and to help bal­ance flu­ids, our kid­neys be­gin to get pissy (no pun in­tended) if they’re con­stantly bat­tling to ex­crete an ex­cess.

Why it’s a prob­lem

Ex­cess sodium in­take can lead to high blood pres­sure which is a ma­jor risk fac­tor for heart dis­ease. Also called hy­per­ten­sion, HBP speeds the build-up of plaque on ves­sel walls, which can cause blocked ar­ter­ies. The more gummed up they are, the harder the heart has to work to pump blood around the body, in­creas­ing the risk of heart at­tack. Many peo­ple have HBP and don’t know it, be­cause symp­toms aren’t ob­vi­ous.

There’s more, of course – too much sodium can lead to stroke, kid­ney dis­ease and even os­teo­poro­sis, since a high salt in­take can leach cal­cium from bones, es­pe­cially in post­menopausal women. It can also cause bloat­ing and fluid re­ten­tion and make you feel gen­er­ally icky. Ready to check your in­take yet?

Push­ing the lim­its

Ex­perts say we should keep sodium in­take to less than 2300mg per day. That’s about one tea­spoon of salt. If you have HBP or heart dis­ease, the rec­om­men­da­tion is no more than 1600mg – just over half a tsp of salt. For per­spec­tive, Aussies cur­rently con­sume al­most twice as much as the rec­om­mended amount!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.