Savoury food is delicious but equally deadly.

Having high-sodium food is an open invitation to lifestyle conditions like diabetes, hypertension, stroke, vascular dementia, heart diseases and breathing issues, among various other problems.

Besides damaging the heart, blood vessels and kidneys, eating too much salt changes the way our brain handles stress. A recent study revealed that consuming a diet that was high in sodium can add to increased levels of stress.

Published in the monthly medical journal Cardiovascular Research, the scientists tested the effects of a high-salt diet in mice. They found that it increased the levels of the stress hormone cortisol by 75 per cent.
The study also showed that the hormone response of mice, who had a high salt intake, to environmental stress was double in comparison to the mice that had a normal diet.

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Lead author of the study, Matthew Bailey, who is a professor of Renal Physiology at the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Cardiovascular Science said, "We are what we eat and understanding how high-salt food changes our mental health is an important step to improving well-being."

The findings showed that most people eat about nine grams of salt daily, but the recommended daily limit for adults is less than six grams.

Experts have time and again suggested consuming low sodium in their meals - not more than half a teaspoon a day. Doctors recommend that total daily salt intake shouldn't exceed 4-6 grams daily.

Salt restriction is the most important and effective way to a healthy life. Ever wondered why you suddenly start craving something sweet after finishing a bag of salty chips? It's because the high sodium content spurs dehydration. Too much salt can cause the body to retain water, making breathing more laborious.

Unknowingly we consume a lot of sodium - not just through the food that is cooked, but also through table salts in salads or curd. We also consume hidden salt (approximately 75 per cent) from processed foods like sauce, packaged foods, chips, junk food, cheese, seafood and olives.

When buying prepared or packaged foods, always look for the sodium content of food.

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Around 422 million people in the world are suffering from diabetes, according to the World Health Organization. Diabetes, a chronic and metabolic disease, causes the blood sugar levels in the body to rise abnormally. If not detected in time and taken necessary measures to manage it, diabetes can cause serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves.

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