Salt is an essential mineral, and consuming it in moderation will not be harmful.
But consuming too much salt can lead to many dangerous side effects, including:
If you are overeating salt, it’s time to cut back.
In this article, you will learn more about what eating too much salt can do to your body.
So without further ado, let’s get started with the eight side effects of consuming too much salt.
1. High blood pressure (hypertension)
According to the CDC, consuming too much sodium increases your risk of developing high blood pressure, which is also known as hypertension.
When too much salt enters your body, the kidneys cannot remove it fast enough.
This causes extra fluid retention in your blood vessels, which makes your heart work harder to pump blood throughout your body.
Also, too much sodium makes the heart produce too much of a hormone called angiotensin, which constricts your blood vessels and raises your blood pressure.
2. Weak Bones
Eating too much salt is also bad for your bones.
Why? Because consuming too much sodium can pull calcium out of your bones.
This causes osteoporosis, a condition where the bones are weak and are more likely to break.
If you want strong bones, it’s important to limit the amount of salt you eat every day.
3. Stomach Cancer
According to case-control studies, consuming too much salt over several years increases your risk of stomach cancer.
And consuming very high levels of salt on a daily basis can increase your chances even more!
Also, eating too much salty food can cause ulcers in your stomach or intestines which increases your chances of getting stomach cancer as well.
4. Kidney Stones
Another effect of consuming too much salt is kidney stones.
Your kidneys are responsible for removing extra sodium from your body, but consuming too much can overwhelm them.
This causes tiny crystals to form in the kidneys, which eventually turn into kidney stones.
Seek medical attention immediately if you have severe pain or notice blood in your urine because this could lead to a more serious condition called nephritis.
5. Stomach Growling
Consuming too much salt can cause stomach growling, even if you’re full!
Why? This happens when the muscles that surround your stomach cramp up due to too much salt ingestion.
So now, not only do you have an upset stomach, but you also have stomach muscles cramping, which makes your stomach growl.
This can also lead to diarrhea and vomiting in some severe cases.
6. Swelling in Your Feet or Legs
Because consuming too much salt causes extra fluid retention, this causes swelling in certain parts of your body, like your feet or legs.
If you ever notice that your hands and ankles are swollen after eating too much salty food, try to cut back on the salt and give your body a break.
7. Increased Bad Breath
Believe it or not, consuming too much salt can also lead to bad breath!
Why? Because your body cannot remove all of the extra sodium from your system fast enough, which causes an increase in ammonia levels in your urine.
Ammonia is responsible for producing a foul smell in your mouth– aka bad breath!
So now both consuming too much salt and experiencing bad breath can ruin your day!
8. Muscle Cramps
Lastly, consuming too much sodium can cause muscle cramps after exercise or activity.
Why? Eating too much salt causes your body to hold onto water, which makes you retain excess electrolytes.
Electrolytes are minerals in your body that carry an electric charge.
These include potassium and sodium, which are both needed for muscle contractions!
So consuming too much salt will cause a deficiency of these two crucial electrolytes after activity or exercise, causing muscle cramps.
Consuming too much sodium can lead to many different health problems, including an increased risk of stomach cancer, kidney stones, weak bones, and muscle cramps.
So make sure to keep your daily salt intake at a healthy level– less than 2,300mg per day for adults aged 50 and under and 1,500mg if you’re over the age of 51!
For more information, read about how much salt is safe to eat every day.