Dangers of Salt | Brain
Still further, the authors of the newly published review in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology point out that a high salt intake may negatively affect the brain. Eating excess salt causes the sympathetic nervous system to over-react to stressful situations, pumping out chronically high levels of stress hormones.
“This increased responsiveness has been associated with an increased blood pressure variability, even without an elevation in average blood pressure,” writes Dr. Farquhar and colleagues.
Increased blood pressure variability means we’re prone to having short-term spikes in blood pressure, which physicians had traditionally thought were benign as long as overall blood pressure were normal. But more and more, science is finding that increased blood pressure variability, in and of itself, is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events and death.6
The Dangers of Salt | Bottom Line
We now have many reasons beyond high blood pressure to maintain a sodium intake of no more than 1,500 mg daily. The solution appears clear and simple: stop adding salt to food.
But as educators at the Pritikin Longevity Center always point out, and as William S. Weintraub, MD, one of the co-authors of the review, cautions, “It’s more challenging than simply throwing away your salt shaker. Approximately 70% of the sodium in our diets comes from processed foods, including items that we don’t typically think of as salty, such as breads and cereals. Also, restaurant food typically contains more salt than dishes prepared at home.”