Salt intake

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:47 pm
Salt can adversely affect your health by causing blood pressure to increase, When you eat salt, your body works to keep its salt level at a constant concentration, so it increases water retention to dilute the salt content. To pump the added fluid, the heart has to work harder. Too much fluid in our body also contributes to swelling, shortness of breath, and weight gain. Most people are able to excrete (ecks-CREET) extra salt and water through their urine. Unless you have congestive heart failure or kidney disease, it's O.K. too add a little salt to your food. A little salt helps bring out flavor and makes a low-fat diet more palatable. Watch food labels, though. Most processed foods already contain high levels of sodiumthe main component of salt. The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 2,400 mg of sodium a day. That equals less than one teaspoon of salt. For those with heart disease the recommendation is lower2,000 mg. a day.For more information about whether or not you should restrict your salt intake, contact a healthcare professional.

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