Medical Articles

Simple Tips to Lower Your Sodium

That irresistible mineral that adds so much flavor to any dish, salt, is both necessary and harmful to your body.

Sodium - found naturally in your regular table salt, poultry, eggs, fish, milk and cheese - is an essential mineral for all living organisms. Sodium is necessary for our bodies since it helps our kidneys balance fluid levels, helps our bodies digest protein, helps our muscles contract and helps conduct nerve impulses. To achieve all these functions the average adult only needs about 250 mg of sodium a day; however, the average American consumes 3,436 mg of sodium a day.

Consuming over 3,000 Mg of sodium is very dangerous to your health. Too much sodium causes high blood pressure leading to stroke and heart attack, and some people experience swelling in the hands and feet. Dangerous levels of sodium intake can thin the bones leading to osteoporosis, is linked to stomach ulcers and cancer, and is linked to asthma and kidney disease.

To help lower blood pressure and avoid all these negative side effects of sodium, the American Heart Association has recently changed its recommendation to limit sodium consumption from 2400 mg to 1500 mg of sodium in a single day, that's less than 3/4 a teaspoon of salt daily.

To avoid these negatives, try to lower your sodium intake. Following some of these simple tips and guidelines can help you achieve a healthier, lower sodium diet.

Don't use salt when you are cooking. Unless you are baking, forget the salt. Many people will add salt to their food before tasting it anyway. By eliminating salt from the recipe you can help eliminate too much sodium in your diet.
Don't' put salt on the table when you are eating. Taking the salt off the table reduces the temptation to unnecessarily add more salt. Try to savor each bite and learn to like flavors other than salt.
Since 75% of our daily sodium comes from processed foods, lower the amount of processed foods and buy more fresh foods. This will not only help you lower your sodium intake, it will also boost your health overall.
Select low salt canned goods. You could also try rinsing your canned veggies before cooking with them. This will help wash away the extra sodium and lead to you lowering your sodium intake.
Go with low sodium or no sodium in the foods you buy at the grocery store. The Nutrition label should tell you how much sodium is in the food. To count as low sodium each serving should have 140 mg or less of sodium per serving.

Trying these simple tips will help you to lower your sodium intake. They can also be a boost to your overall health and help you in choosing healthier food options. Not only will you be healthier, you will feel healthier too.

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