JUN 02, 2017 11:45 AM PDT
Why Salt is Good and Bad For Your Health
WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham
2 3 235

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams of salt a day with the ideal salt consumption capped at 1,500 milligrams a day. This translates to 1 teaspoon or less of salt a day. Surely, then, you won't be surprised to learn that most Americans exceed this limit. We like our foods to be flavorful, and salt is often the solution for blandness.

But what happens when we consistently consume too much salt? When you consume salt, thirst signals get activated, compelling you to drink more water to dilute the sodium in the blood. But over time, water retention in the body can lead to high blood pressure - a condition that puts stress on vital organs like the heart and kidneys.

That's not to say that we don't need salt at all. In fact, the body relies on a small amount of salt for proper transmission of nerve impulses and to regulate blood pressure. But this amount is quite small at less than 500 milligrams a day.

Some processed foods don't necessarily taste salty, but could contain way more sodium than you need in each serving. So next time, pay attention to the amount of salt that you consume.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
MAY 08, 2018
Videos
MAY 08, 2018
How NASA Could Study Titan's Oceans
NASA has an interest in exploring Titan's oceans and plans to take an unconventional approach to studying them: send an interplanetary submarine to dive de
MAY 18, 2018
Videos
MAY 18, 2018
Tips for Reducing Your Melanoma Risk
Each year, more people are diagnosed with some form of skin cancer than every other kind of cancer combined. It's not just about having a pesky spot remove
MAY 30, 2018
Videos
MAY 30, 2018
Teaching Kids About The Brain
When you think about neuroscience education, middle school isn't typically what comes to mind. However, at the University of British Columbia, a new progra
JUN 08, 2018
Videos
JUN 08, 2018
Video: Paper Made From What?
This eco-friendly paper is sourced from poop.
JUN 09, 2018
Videos
JUN 09, 2018
Infectious Microbes Lurk in Hotel Pools
With thousands sickened, the CDC is concerned about hotel pools, even treated ones.
JUN 18, 2018
Neuroscience
JUN 18, 2018
Artificial Intelligence and Superstition
When something happens, especially an adverse event, it’s human nature to try and figure out why. When people try to make sense of unfortunate events
Loading Comments...