A meal high in salt may taste delicious while you are eating it, but the food additive can begin producing damaging effects in just 30 minutes, The Daily Mail reported.

A team of scientists in Adelaide, Australia, have found that just 30 minutes after eating a salty meal, blood vessels stiffen and are less able to move around the body at the normal rate, and ultimately reducing blood flow in the main arteries.

The amount of salt used in the study was about average, at 4 grams per portion. Before and after each meal, each volunteer’s flow-mediated dilation was tested though the main artery in the upper arm.

The results showed blood flow was 'significantly more impaired' within 30 minutes of eating the salty meal than those who consumed the low-salt alternative.

“This research is of great interest. It clearly shows a rapid effect on the stiffness of the blood vessels,” said Professor Graham MacGregor, chairman of the group Consensus Action on Salt and Health, said this study is cause for concern.

Salt has been linked with an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease, osteoporosis and stomach cancer.

The results were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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