Why Sodium Is Bad for You?
Salt always seems to get the bad rap but there’s good cause for why. Most Americans consume too much salt. Although some salt is necessary to maintain a healthy diet, too much affects blood pressure negatively. Don’t believe it’s a problem? Between 2005 and 2008 manufacturers increased the introduction of new food products labeled no-sodium, low- sodium or reduced sodium by over 100%. It continues to be an option with many food selections.
A high sodium diet increases risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. In the U.S., the number one cause of death is heart disease and the number three killer is stroke. It’s estimated more than half of U.S. consumers must monitor salt intake. The CDC approximated the average person in America eats about 3,436 milligrams of sodium daily, beyond the recommended daily amount of 2,300 mg.
The answer seems simple- cut back on salt. But sodium can be found in MSG, baking powder, and baking soda. It acts as a preservative in foods, gives food flavor and acts as an inhibitor in leavening agents. It’s in most store bought, processed, packaged and restaurant foods. Most people’s taste buds have grown accustomed to the overload. According to a report prepared by the Center for Science in the Public on sodium content in meals served by 17 popular restaurant chains, findings revealed out of the 102 restaurant meals reviewed, 85 of them contained more than an entire day’s worth of sodium, and some had up to 4 days’ worth.
Some ways to reduce salt intake include:
- Choose more freshly made meals with unprocessed ingredients like fruits and veggies
- Read food labels: Low-sodium=140mg or less/serving, Reduced sodium=50% less than regular version
- Rinse and drain canned foods well to lessen amount of sodium
- Skip or go easy on condiments
Lerche Davis, Jeanie. “Salt: Don’t Ban It Entirely.” WebMD.com. 2004. 2 Dec. 2013.
Zelman MPH, RD, LD, Kathleen M. “Diet Myth or Truth: I Don’t Need to Worry About Sodium.”
WebMD.com. 8 Sept. 2011. 2 Dec. 2013.