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7 Clear Signs You’re Eating Too Much Salt

Too much sodium can wreck havoc on your body. Here are signs you need to cut back.

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Your brain feels foggy

Who knew that salt could even impact your brain function? According to a 2011 Canadian study on 1,200 more sedentary adults, those with high-sodium diets had a higher chance of cognitive decline than those with less salt in their diets. As you age it is important to keep track of how much salt you consume and make changes if necessary. These 13 foods have way more salt than you realized.

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Senior asian man drinking water from a plastic bottle and background blur diverse equipment and machines at the gym room.anucha maneechote/Shutterstock

Your thirst is raging

Foods with a high amount of sodium (think: chips, spaghetti sauce and pepperoni pizza) make you feel thirstier because sodium messes with the balance of fluid in your body. If you had a day of eating more high-sodium food, like at a baseball game, try to drink a lot of water. Your body is probably craving water, so it can restore the salt balance in your cells. These are the best and worst hydrating beverages, ranked.

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close up of woman with food at grocery storeSyda Productions/Shutterstock

Your body is swelling in strange places

Yes, just one night of too much sodium can actually make you look and feel more bloated in the morning. This is called edema, the swelling of extra fluid in your body’s tissues. According to Mayo Clinic, edema can be a symptom of an underlying disease, but it can also be a sign of too much sodium in your diet. The simple solution is to cut back on sodium. Read food labels, look for low-sodium options or cook your own food to control the salt. Check out these 10 simple tips that will help you reduce your sodium intake.

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Salt pouring down into blue cupHairem/Shutterstock

You get kidney stones

A diet high in too much sodium can actually hinder kidney function. According to the World Action on Salt and Health, too much salt can increase the amount of protein found in your urine. More protein in your urine is a “major risk factor” for kidney disease. Additionally, high-sodium diets can also increase the risk of kidney stones. If you have excessive kidney stones or pain, you should see a doctor and work with a nutritionist to change to a low sodium diet. Avoid these foods that are secretly hurting your brain.

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Potato chipsRuslan Mitin/Shutterstock

You have stomach ulcers

Too much sodium has been linked to stomach ulcers and cancer in animals, according to a study published in the journal Infection and Immunity. Although more research is needed, the findings suggest that people should be wary of salt damaging their stomach lining. Additionally, these are some of the worst foods for your stomach.

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Doctor checking her patient's numbersHalfpoint/Shutterstock

You have high blood pressure

Americans consume almost 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day. According to the American Heart Association, you should be eating only 1,500 milligrams of sodium. This extra sodium can increase blood pressure by holding more fluid in the body, making your heart pump harder. Ask your doctor if following a low sodium diet could lower your blood pressure. Find out how you can lower blood pressure naturally through food.

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Salt spilled on table279photo Studio/Shutterstock

You use table salt

While it is good to control your own salt intake, it is easy to overdo the salt shaker. A half a teaspoon of table salt contains 1,150 milligrams of sodium. If you shake some salt on your pasta three times during a meal, the milligrams of sodium can quickly add up. Bottom line: Minimize your use of the salt shaker, especially if you eat a lot of convenience foods (which tend to be rich in sodium). Here are some low-sodium recipes you should be eating instead.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest

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