While having your dinner, how many times do you sprinkle extra salt in food? Do you know how it affects your heart in a negative way? Experts warn that high salt intake can prove dangerous for your heart. Salt, is used in almost all foods we love, chaat paapri, paani puri, momos, and all street foods, if not taken in moderate quantity, it can pose a big problem for your heart. "Processed food and Indian diet contains a lot of salt that causes hypertension and also becomes a direct reason for heart attacks." Says Dr. Balbir Singh, Senior Consultant Cardiologist, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital. Eating too much salt can cause high blood pressure.
High blood pressure which can lead to other heart diseases. Earlier, salt was used as a preservative for foods. Although that's not the case today, salt remains a common ingredient in many processed foods. Salt makes soups spicier and increases sweetness in cakes and cookies. Salt also helps disguise metallic or chemical aftertastes in products such as soft drinks. "The body needs sodium to hold water in the blood vessels. Sodium also regulates water balance in all parts of the body. If too much water is held in the body, the amount of blood increases. If it increases too much, problems will arise," says Rishika Mehta, Consultant Nutritionist.
"The increase in blood makes the heart work harder. The result can be high blood pressure. Other conditions, such as diabetes, can cause high blood pressure. The most common cause is eating too much salt/sodium. When high blood pressure is not controlled, it can lead to a heart attack, stroke or kidney disease," adds Dr. Singh.
Rishika Mehta, suggests some ways to help reduce the salt intake:
By implementing just a few of these ideas, you can reduce your sodium intake by quite a bit. At the same time, make sure you drink at least eight glasses of water to help your body remove any excess salt that is in your system. You can reduce salt intake or even use a substitute for salto Avoid add-on salt, its not a necessity.
"Many people may not be aware that salt is harmful for the heart, but now when this has been proved, parents can try and cut down the high intake of salt right from childhood so that their child lives a long, happy and healthy life," says Balbir.
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