10 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Stop Eating Salt
Don’t get us wrong, salt is a vital ingredient in cooking. It’s also vital for health. But like so many other good things, too much of it becomes a bad thing.
You probably already get enough salt in your diet without having to add more with the salt shaker. And there are definite benefits to cutting back or eliminating your salt intake. Here are 10 things that happen to your body when you stop eating too much salt.
Your blood pressure may improve
Salt is also known by its chemical name sodium chloride. High levels of sodium make you retain more water. And when you retain water, the higher levels of liquid in the bloodstream make it harder for your body to circulate blood, which leads to higher blood pressure. So, you can lower your blood pressure simply by lowering your salt intake.
You may make fewer trips to the restroom
Salt in and of itself doesn’t make you urinate more frequently, but salt does make you feel thirsty. Since you retain water when you consume salt, your body wants to pull it from your organs and tissues. This in turn makes you feel dehydrated. The more salt you eat, the more liquid you’ll feel like drinking.
Cutting down on salt will make you feel less dehydrated and make you drink less liquids. Thus, you’ll need to make fewer trips to the restroom.
You may drop a few pounds
“Water weight” is what they call those first few pounds of weight loss that happens rapidly in the beginning of a diet. By eliminating salty foods from your diet, you’ll lose water weight at first, since salt makes you retain water. But even beyond that, a salt-free diet will help contribute to weight loss.
Why? Most of our sodium comes from processed foods. Eating fewer processed foods will not only reduce the amount of salt you consume, it will reduce the amount of sugar and carbs, too. Cutting down on all of these combined will help you lose weight.
You may reduce your risk of stomach cancer
Salt also plays a vital role in food preservation. Salting and curing meat has been done for thousands of years. However, a diet rich in red meat can lead to a higher rate of stomach cancer. So if you need to cut your salt intake, cured meats are off the menu, and therefore your risk for stomach cancer goes down as well.
You may reduce your risk of heart disease
Heart disease is the number one cause of death worldwide, and the sad fact is that many of those deaths are absolutely preventable. Reducing salt intake lowers your blood pressure, as we’ve said before.
High blood pressure leads to hardening of the arteries and scarring, which weakens the heart muscle. So, lowering the amount of salt you consume keeps your heart and circulation system working properly and reduces your risk of heart disease.
You may have fewer headaches
If you find yourself having the occasional headache, you may be surprised to find out that salt may be the culprit. Remember when we said that salt constricts and interferes with blood vessels?
It turns out that those tightened blood vessels can give you a headache. So if your salt consumption drops, so does your risk for headaches. (As long as they’re not actually due to kids, work, or other outside stress points.)
Your bones may be less brittle
Everyone knows that for strong bones you need calcium. But what is less known is that salt can have the opposite effect on your skeleton: salt can actually make bones more fragile.
Bone brittleness, especially in women, is a major concern later in life. Consuming too much salt can raise your chances of breaking a bone in your later years. So, if you’re worried about developing osteoporosis or other degenerative bone issues, you should also drop your salt consumption.
Your energy levels may increase
If you want to live a more active life, you don’t want to be weighted down with extra water weight. That lethargic, bloated feeling makes getting up and doing things a chore rather than a pleasure. So, the same salt that is making you retain water is also making you lose energy. It’s amazing how this one simple change can have so many beneficial effects.
Your may reduce your risk of kidney stones
We talked a lot about the water retention issue, but this is the biggest point: your kidneys are your body’s filters. All the liquid you drink goes through the kidneys on the way out of your body.
Higher salt content in your diet can build up in your kidneys and cause kidney stones, which are just crystalized minerals that don’t dissolve. Kidney stones are extremely painful and if you can prevent them from forming, so much the better.
Your taste buds will adjust to the change
Let’s be honest, one of the reasons that salt is hard to give up is because, like sugar, it just tastes so good. If you’ve grown up in an environment where the salt shaker was always on the dining room table, you may think that giving it up will make all your food taste bad or bland.
However, you’ll be glad to know that this doesn’t last long, and your taste buds will adapt to the lower sodium content. Soon, you may find yourself unable to eat the salt-rich diet you used to love.