Food & Nutrition

24 Ways Salt Is Making You Sick

Kids are overloading

Close up of small kid eating popcorn.LumineImages/Shutterstock

According to Health Canada, the government department overseeing the country’s public health, 77 percent of children ages one to three and 93 percent of kids ages four to eight are exceeding the recommended daily sodium intake. Learn more about these 13 foods that have way more salt than you realized.

A potassium deficit could worsen sodium’s effects

Tabletop view - arranged avocado halves, some of them with the seed, on gray wood desk.Lubo Ivanko/Shutterstock

Like sodium, potassium is an important mineral in the body. While excess sodium increases blood pressure, potassium eases tension in blood-vessel walls and helps keep blood pressure in check. The mineral also aids in sodium excretion so that excess salt doesn’t stick around and cause problems, says cardiologist Suzanne Oparil, MD, a professor of medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Blood tests ordered by your doctor can confirm whether you’re low in potassium, but so long as you’re eating your fruits and vegetables, you shouldn’t have to worry. High sources of potassium include white beans, spinach, bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes, and yogurt.

You’re falling for fake news

sprinkled salt shakers of white salt on the stone black background, top viewitor/Shutterstock

Both the food industry and the salt industry fund research on dietary sodium. “Their interests will often fund the low-quality evidence,” says Norm Campbell, MD, a sodium and hypertension expert at the University of Calgary’s Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta. “And even when they haven’t funded it, they will market the low-quality evidence, increasing its visibility.” Read up on these 21 food myths you need to stop believing.

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