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Adolescents + excessive salt consumption = obesity and inflammation

What risks does obesity have in adolescence?

Teenagers, as well as adults, consume more sodium than they should on a daily basis. This is certainly not beneficial for your health. A new study confirms that excess salt in adolescents' diets is directly linked to obesity and inflammation, regardless of the calories they consume.

Excess salt and health problems

If you are one of the young people who loves to add salt to everything, you should reconsider that habit if you want to lose weight. The average American consumes nearly twice the recommended daily amount of sodium, and teenagers are not exempt. Specifically, it is estimated that Americans consume 3,400 milligrams of sodium when They should consume 1,500 milligrams or less a day to be healthy.

He consume salt in excess It is related to several health problems such as hypertension, risk of stroke, heart problems, osteoporosis, stomach cancer, kidney stones and headaches, among others.

If you exceed the recommended salt consumption since your adolescence, you are preparing the ground for these health problems to develop freely. But in addition, a new study shows that even if you are closely watching the calories you consume, excess sodium in your diet is a direct contributing factor to obesity and inflammation.

A study in adolescents

This was confirmed by a study carried out at the Regents University of Georgia, in the United States. In order to reach these conclusions, a group of molecular geneticists from said university analyzed a study carried out on 766 adolescents, of which 97 percent reported exceeding the daily consumption recommended by the American Heart Association of 1,500 milligrams of salt.

The specialists closely observed what these young people ate and drank and found a relationship between excessive salt consumption and obesity. Likewise, they found that adolescents who consume a lot of sodium have high levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha, which is produced in immune cells and contributes to the development of chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases such as arthritis and lupus.

Interestingly, it was also observed that excessive salt consumption produces elevated levels of a hormone produced by fat cells that usually suppresses appetite and burns fat, but when levels are high it produces the opposite effect.

Salt and the difficulty of losing weight

These findings provide new clues to understand why it is difficult for so many young people and adults to lose weight. Perhaps the key, instead of rigorous diets, would be to do a “salt diet.” Reducing sodium consumption causes inflammation and water retention to decrease and thus the body functions better. Specialists advise parents and adolescents to make decisions about their diet with this in mind.

For example, avoid automatically adding salt to everything you are served, as foods usually already contain salt. Also, if you are given the choice between French fries or something healthier, it is better to select fresh fruits or vegetables. Also avoid processed meats such as ham, bologna and sausages that contain a lot of sodium, save them for special occasions.

Learn to read the labels of packaged foods, this is key to reducing sodium consumption. Make sure the sodium content is less than 1,400 milligrams per serving or 500 milligrams per meal.

How to avoid excess salt

Obviously avoiding salt completely is almost impossible and is not the goal, but you can avoid excess salt choosing fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables, avoiding eating canned foods, avoiding adding salt to foods at the table, paying attention to labels, etc.

Reducing the amount of salt in your diet will not only help you have good health in the short and long term, but also eliminate those extra pounds or kilos that can also affect your health.


"Because prevention is better than cure"

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