Too Much Salt: The 7 Most Important Symptoms Of Too Much Salt Consumption

Salt gives our food the right flavor – without it tastes bland. However, you should be careful with the amount, because too much salt is unhealthy. These 7 symptoms indicate that you are consuming too much salt.

It just tastes better with salt! It is therefore easy to consume too much salt. This is anything but healthy. But how much salt in food is too much? And what are the symptoms that tell me that I should reduce my salt consumption?

Why is too much salt unhealthy – and what are the consequences?

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that excessive salt consumption increases the risk of various diseases. The consequences can be, for example, these diseases:

  • high blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • stroke
  • kidney damage
  • stomach cancer

The problem: salt is found in many processed foods such as ready meals and snacks, but above all in bread and rolls, meat and sausage products, dairy products, and cheese. We consume these “hidden” salts quite subconsciously.

How many grams of salt a day are recommended?

According to the WHO, you should consume less than 5 grams – that’s about a teaspoon of salt a day. The German Society for Nutrition (DGE) recommends 6 grams. In Germany, however, 75 percent of men and almost 70 percent of women eat more than these 6 grams of salt a day: an average of 10 grams (men) and 8.4 grams (women). This means that daily consumption is well above the recommended amount.

Too much salt in food: the 7 most important symptoms

Because salt is hidden in many foods, it is difficult to assess whether you have eaten too much. However, the body gives clear warning signals. You should look out for these symptoms:

1. The sense of taste is disturbed
If you eat too much salt over a long period, your taste buds get used to it: and the food is increasingly perceived as bland.

2. Thirst increases
Excess salt is eliminated from the body through the kidneys, which also causes the body to lose water – and you become more thirsty.

3. The head hurts
Excessive salt consumption dilates the blood vessels in the brain. This can lead to a pounding and stabbing headache.

4. The face looks puffy
Too much salt binds water in the body, which is particularly noticeable in the morning as swelling around the cheeks and eyes.

5. Sleep is disturbed
If you consume too much salt, for example, a ham sandwich or chips in the evening, the sodium level increases. The body reacts with restlessness, which disturbs sleep.

6. Blood pressure is elevated
If you eat too much salt for a long time, the blood vessels are damaged and narrow. The result: the heart has to work harder and blood pressure rises. From a value of 140/90 mm Hg one speaks of high blood pressure (hypertension).

7. Kidney stones develop
If you don’t drink enough fluids, the salt in your urine doesn’t get flushed out – deposits remain and over time form kidney stones, which can cause severe pain.

How can I avoid too much salt?

On the one hand, it is important to gradually wean the taste buds off and to gradually reduce the amount of salt in the food. Herbs and spices are good alternatives. In addition, the consumption of processed foods should be limited or low-salt variants should be used, which is already possible, especially with bread. But it is also worth taking a look at the packaging and the nutritional information for sausage and cheese.

However, it is not a good idea to completely avoid salt: You should consume at least 1.4 grams per day so that the body is optimally supplied with sodium and chloride.

Are sea salt or Himalayan salt healthy?

One often reads that gourmet salts such as sea salt or pink Himalayan salt have a health-promoting effect. According to the consumer advice center, however, this has not been proven and is also not physiologically detectable. Rather, one should make sure to use types of salt enriched with iodine, since the iodine supply is not optimal in this country. But no matter which salt you use: you should always use it sparingly and avoid too much salt.

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