The bodies of different people age at different rates. The exact biological reasons for the rate of aging are not known as yet, but there are many theories behind it. If you indulge in processed, salty foods and/or high sugar foods and are also overweight, then you are at a serious risk of aging faster.

Sodium is an essential mineral need by the human body, but most of us eat more than we actually need to. Sodium exists mostly in all foods but the amount varies. The main reason of for adding salt to foods is to enhance flavour, to preserve and maintain food texture. Sodium is a vital component needed for proper functioning of the nervous system in the body. Sodium chloride is what exactly is found in most foods. But excess of it can be harmful in the long run. High intake of sodium can lead to hypertension and stroke. Over consumption of sodium may even get you into trouble of contracting oedema, cardiovascular disorders and may synergistically accelerate the ageing process by affecting your metabolism.

A lot of research studies are on to explore telomeres. In recent years telomeres have been associated with many age related disorders. According to researches it had been found that intake of high sodium foods has negative effect on the length of telomeres. Telomeres are basically the caps at the end of chromosomes. They have a particular length and these telomeres gradually shorten with time, which according to studies could be key to the rate of aging. Shorter telomeres have been associated with the ageing process. Telomeres are crucial for chromosome stability also. There are several other factors which have been associated with the shortening of telomeres such as smoking, aging, physical inactivity, high level of body fat and many more. Nowadays, youngsters are indulging in too many processed food loaded with sodium viz., not only table salt but added preservatives also like mono sodium glutamate, sodium bisulphite, sodium nitrite, sodium nitrate and many more.

Some of the foods which have high content of sodium include pickles, beef, bacon, salami, soya sauce, salted peanuts, fried potato chips, canned vegetables and some processed cheeses.Scientists found that among overweight and obese teenagers, those with a high sodium intake had significantly shorter telomeres than those in the low intake category. It had been proved people with lower sodium intake in their diet have longer telomeres than people with high sodium in their foods. Every time a cell divides, the telomeres get shorter and there comes a time when cells stop dividing and eventually die.

It is difficult to limit sodium content in today’s day and age where markets are flooded with limitless dangerous processed foods and beverages. What you can do though to reduce your sodium intake, is to cut down or minimize your processed food consumption, as most of our sodium intake comes from restaurant foods and processed foods. Opt for home cooked food or low sodium foods as per your body’s requirement. Drink plenty of water as it flushes out excess sodium from your body. Daily dietary requirement of sodium is around 2400 mg per day for a normal healthy adult. If you are hypertensive, overweight or are medically obese, then you must lower your sodium intake and this should help you to slow down or delay your aging process and prevent cardiovascular diseases.

Some tips that you could follow to delay aging are:

1. Try to add herbs and spices instead of salt to your food, for enhancing flavour. 2. Make it a habit to read the label on the food packet and see the amount of sodium in it.3. Try to avoid adding more salt to your meals. 4. Don’t mislead yourself by thinking that organic salt, sea salt or natural salt might be healthy or harmless to you. Salt is always salt and contains sodium. 5. Try to improve your snacking habits by opting for fruits or nuts rather than a packet of chips or fries.6. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables over canned or processed foods.

Follow these tips and you'll control your sodium intake