The one thing that sugar and salt have most in common is that they taste good with a huge variety of different foods. Unfortunately, both of them are also difficult to consume in moderation.
Even if you avoid sugary sweets and salty snack foods, salt and sugar can both find their way into your diet as a part of the recipes that you prepare. What sort of harm can sugar and salt cause to your body? Here are just a few of the reasons that you should really try to cut down.
Too Much Salt Raises Blood Pressure
Salt is the average American’s main source of sodium, a dietary mineral that the body needs. Sodium helps with muscle function, as well as maintaining the fluid balance in your body. However, if your kidneys aren’t able to keep up with the amount of sodium you consume, your body retains water in order to help dilute it.
Why is this bad? Much of this fluid is then pulled into your blood vessels, which increases your blood volume and creates more pressure within the vessels. Increased blood pressure also increases your risk of heart attack or stroke.
Excessive Sodium Causes Kidney Damage
High blood pressure isn’t the only problem caused by the strain that excessive sodium puts on your kidneys. Processing all of this sodium can also take its toll on them, resulting in a loss of function. A high-sodium diet could also make you more likely to experience kidney stones.
Too Much Sugar Could Lead to Liver Disease
When you eat sugar, your body breaks it down into fructose and glucose. Glucose is naturally found in your body, as well as in every other living thing. Fructose, on the other hand, is not produced by your body. All of the fructose that you take in has to be processed, by your liver. And, if your liver is overloaded, it turns excess fructose into fat. This can lead to a condition called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which could in turn lead to cancer of the liver.
Sugar and Insulin Resistance
Insulin is a hormone produced by your body, and it’s essential in processing glucose. It is what allows the glucose in your bloodstream to enter your cells so that they can utilize them for energy. But, in a diet that is high in sugar, insulin isn’t as effective as it should be. Your cells build a sort of resistance to it and your body therefore needs more in order to function. This growing insulin resistance is a primary cause of diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Trying to cut down on salt or sugar is tough! But, doing so can prevent serious damage to your body. Some healthy sea salt is ok, and can provide vital minerals too – it’s refined sodium chloride that you want to be aware of. Make sure you check the nutrition facts on everything you eat and keep salt and sugar consumption down to a minimum. The impact on your health will be well worth the effort.