What happens if I eat too much salt?

The problem with excessive salt consumption is the risk of hypertension — abnormally high blood pressure that stresses the heart and surrounding blood vessels, ramping up your risk of stroke and heart failure. To rub salt into the wound, health experts link hypertension to obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Excess salt also prompts the body to retain fluid, as it needs water to flush out the salt. This can be problematic for people with heart, renal and liver issues. People who suffer from bloating can ease their fluid retention by following a low-sodium diet.


Salt makes you thirsty, so if you’re gulping water after a meal, you’re probably eating high-sodium food, such as pizza, pepperoni, salami or an Asian dish that’s heavily laced with soy sauce.

If you eat lots of takeaway and junk food, you’re almost certainly consuming far too much salt. Processed foods are also loaded with salt, which manufacturers add to extend storage life and enhance flavour.

A high-salt diet forces the body to retain fluid to counterbalance the excess sodium. Swollen legs or ankles, or a puffy face, are signs that you may be eating too many salty foods.
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