What Are the Effects of Too Much Salt in the Diet?

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Well first of all, salt is something that our bodies need. We need it to actually keep our blood pressure up, we need it for, to keep ourselves healthy. But one of the crazy things about salt is it becomes addictive and we like to have more and more salt. Salt makes everything taste better, and that's where the danger lies in processed foods, particularly processed foods where there's a lot of added salt or you go to a restaurant and eat out, there tends to be a lot of added salt.

So what does salt do? Well, one thing is that it's actually bad for your blood pressure, causes hypertension makes it harder for your heart, your blood vessels and also your kidneys. So there's a warning for cardiovascular disease for salt. But now there's a new warning for salt, excess salt and that is it's associated with a risk of stomach cancer, and studies have shown that people who eat high amounts of salt, have a higher risk 68% increase risk of developing stomach cancer.

So how does that actually happen? Well salt is kind of like raw salt during the Winter, scrapes away, wears away that protective lining in your stomach, the mucous membranes that helps protect the cells of the stomach, delicate cells of the stomach. That's like salt on the road, creating potholes, when you've got a pothole in your stomach it makes it a lot easier for inflammatory substances, bacteria and other carcinogens that we might eat.

For example the carcinogens from a barbecue or from processed foods or preservatives, all those wind up just sipping into your cells and causing those cells damage. And so cut down your salt, actually it will not only help your blood vessels, your blood pressure but also reduce your risk of stomach cancer.