Study Shows Salty Processed Foods Doubles the Stress Levels

A recent study indicated that a salt-rich diet can have a significant impact on stress levels. Stress is known to be a causative agent behind many health conditions such as heart conditions, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.

Salt Inclusion in Diet – What the Hype is About?

Salt, being the most popular kitchen ingredient is the inevitable part of every kitchen cuisine irrespective of the cultural origin. Salt added to the food tends to improve the taste. Salt is a major ingredient of processed foods and thus tends to impact your health in many ways, as revealed by a renowned physician from Healthwire while addressing a webinar on blood pressure management. Commonly processed foods include bread, instant foods, cereals etc. This excessive inclusion of salt in the diet can cause a significant impact on our health.

The effect of too much salt consumption on the heart and renal health has been debated for so long. There have been several types of research in this regard. Recently, a new study was conducted to determine the impact of salt consumption on a parameter of psychological health i.e., stress.  

Stress is a type of change that can result in emotional, physical and psychological changes, Stress alters your body’s responses to many things including your overall wellness. Stress can have both short-term and long-term impacts on your health if left untreated. Some of the common symptoms of stress include losing interest in daily activity, fatigue, mood swings, headache, poor digestive health, fatigue etc. In the longer run, stress acts as an important risk factor for many diseases including obesity, heart conditions, diabetes etc.

Salt Consumption and Stress

A recent study investigated the impact of salt consumption on stress. Scientists from the University of Edinburg in Scotland came up with the theory proposing that high salt consumption might have some effect on the stress level. During the study, salt food consumption was studied in relationship with the activation of the body’s stress response system aka hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. 

This study got published in Cardiovascular Research and the research was mainly conducted on mice. The findings of the study also investigated that high salt consumption can increase the production of glucocorticoids which is a natural hormone that works on stress response regulation as well as cardiac, metabolic and immune functions.

The amount of sodium in the salt is the possible explanation behind this impact of salt on your stress level. The human body requires sodium at a very low. As per the dietary guidelines, the required sodium on daily basis is less than 2300mg. As per the stats given by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the daily consumption of salt crosses 3400mg daily.

This study reveals the detrimental effect of high-salt consumption on brain health. This study raises concerns about limiting the daily consumption of sodium from your diet. Talking on this, Dr Mathew Bailey, lead author of the study said,

“For most governments, this needs to be working with food manufacturers to reduce sodium content in staple food products […] The strategies that have worked best have been collaborative partnerships to establish agreed time-dependent targets for reduction, independently monitored.”

Dietary Changes and Stress Control – How 

Stress tends to be an important measurement of psychological and physical health. Many things can impact your stress level and affect several aspects of human health. Too much stress is bad for your brain and body as well. Stress serves as an important risk factor for many conditions including heart diseases, metabolic disorders as well makes you prone to develop infections caused by weaker immunity. So, it is important for you to control your stress levels. 

When it comes to controlling your stress level, stress management techniques play a crucial role. Other than this, the impact of dietary choices on stress can also help you to overcome the problem. Excessive salt consumption is one such element. A recent study investigated the impact of high salt consumption on stress levels. So, make sure you try to limit the foods possessing high salt content. Processed foods or instant food items contain high salts so try not to have them in larger amounts. 

While you are overcoming your salt consumption, keep an eye on your warning signs especially if you are at a higher risk due to genetic makeup. Eat healthy, stay physically active and don’t forget your routine checkup. 

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