Sodium intake from processed and restaurant foods contributes to high rates of high blood pressure
high blood pressure
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is blood pressure that is higher than normal. Your blood pressure changes throughout the day based on your activities. Having blood pressure measures consistently above normal may result in a diagnosis of high blood pressure (or hypertension).
Mente and his colleagues revealed that a high intake of sodium did lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke — but only in communities where the average intake for an adult was greater than 5 grams per day. This amounts to about 2.5 teaspoons of table salt, the researchers explain.
Eating too much salt can have a range of effects. In the short term, it may cause bloating, severe thirst, and a temporary rise in blood pressure. In severe cases, it may also lead to hypernatremia, which, if left untreated, can be fatal.
How long does it take for salt to flush out of your body?
Excess sodium from a high-salt meal typically takes 2 to 4 days to leave the body. This time can be decreased by drinking extra water, exercising, sweating, cutting back on salt, and eating fruits and vegetables high in potassium.
Salt levels similar to those currently consumed in the Western diet may lead to hardening of arteries, independent of blood pressure effects, say new results that “confirm the potentially detrimental effects of a high dietary salt intake”.
In all subjects, high sodium intake significantly enhanced the low-frequency power of heart rate and arterial pressures at rest and after sympathetic stress. It also increased heart rate and arterial pressure variabilities.
When the pressure is elevated so high as to be immediately life-threatening, it may cause headache, blurred vision, chest discomfort, or shortness of breath. Normal blood pressure is measured as no higher than 120/80 mmHg.
If you have overindulged or eaten greasy or spicy foods, you may experience a scorching feeling in your chest. This could be heartburn, which is a symptom of acid reflux and is caused by GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease.
The human body can't live without some sodium. It's needed to transmit nerve impulses, contract and relax muscle fibers (including those in the heart and blood vessels), and maintain a proper fluid balance. It doesn't take much to do this.
Some people have palpitations after heavy meals rich in carbohydrates, sugar, or fat. Sometimes, eating foods with a lot of monosodium glutamate (MSG), nitrates, or sodium can bring them on, too. If you have heart palpitations after eating certain foods, it could be due to food sensitivity.
In severe cases, low sodium levels in the body can lead to muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. Eventually, lack of salt can lead to shock, coma and death. Severe salt loss is very unlikely to happen because our diets contain more than enough salt.
Fluid retention caused by excessive salt consumption can lead to increased pressure on the blood vessel walls](http://www.livestrong.com/article/429361-why-does-sodium-increase-blood-pressure/). The pressure causes the blood vessel walls to thicken and narrow and the heart begins to pump harder to move fluid around.
Excessive salt intake can damage blood vessels, as well as raising the risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure), a Dutch population study revealed in the journal Circulation, which belongs to the American Heart Association.
Potassium helps counteract sodium. Foods like bananas, white beans, leafy greens, and potatoes are all great sources of potassium. Horton says, "Eating high-potassium foods is good because they are usually whole foods that are also naturally lower in sodium.
Heart palpitations at night usually aren't harmful. Many factors, including alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, stress or hormones can cause them. Less often, they result from a health condition such as heart disease or a thyroid disorder.
To increase your intake of calcium, eat more dark leafy greens and dairy products. Dark leafy greens are also a great source of magnesium, and so are nuts and fish. Most people get enough sodium in their diet with packaged foods such as deli meats and canned soups.