The Dangers of a High Salt Diet [video]

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Video Transcript
Toxic Waist - The dangers of a high salt diet

It might surprise you to know that you probably consume 6 times as much as salt as you need, and eating too much salt may increase your risk of having a stroke or heart attack. A global study cross over 30 countries, published in The British Medical Journal, found conclusive evidence of a link between salt consumption and blood pressure. The research has found that people who ate very low-salt diets had low blood pressure, and people who consumed a lot of salt had higher average blood pressure. The theory behind this is that as the level of salt in your blood stream rises, your body holds on to water, increasing the overall volume of blood. As you pump more air into a tire, the pressure goes up in the same way that increased volume of liquid in your circulation exerts higher pressure.

And when I tell people they need to cut back on their salt intake, one of the responses I frequently get is "Won't I get cramp if I don't eat enough salt?" Well, unless they're manual laborers toiling in tropical conditions, the answer is no. Our diets have plenty of sodium chloride, or table salt, already. More than enough, in fact. We would all be well-advised to cut back on the amount of salt we eat.

You may not have high blood pressure now, but in 5 or 10 years, who knows. And a high-salt diet increases your risk of stomach cancer and osteoporosis. Even if you don't add any salt to your food at the table or when you cook, you can still very easily exceed your daily recommended dose. What very few people realize is that about 75% of salt consumed by the nation comes from processed food. And the single biggest source of that is factory-made bread. The reason it's added to processed foods is that it's cheap and gives flavor. In fact, if you eat sausages, pies, pates, crisps, and a whole host of manufactured snacks, you'll get an unhealthy dose of both salt and fat. My advice is to do your best to cut back on the salt. Don't add it to your food, and try to buy products that have low salt content.

Remember, a slice of bread can contain as much salt as a packet of crisps. If you need extra flavor, try using herbs, pepper, or lemon juice or vinegar. And if you think a little bit of salt is essential, why not try a salt substitute, like LoSalt or Solo.

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