90% of Americans age 2 and older eat too much salt! In fact, the average American eats around 3436mg daily!!! This is amazing considering that less than 1500mg daily is required for prevention of high blood pressure. In a nutshell, here is what high sodium intake does to the body.
1. Extra sodium alters the sodium/potassium balance that is necessary for the kidneys to remove extra fluid from the body. The extra fluid increases blood pressure and strains the blood vessels supplying blood to the kidney
2. The higher blood pressure puts a strain on the arteries causing the tissue to become thicker and stronger which then even elevates the pressure more. If left untreated, the arteries can burst or become clogged allowing for decreased nutrients and oxygen flow to organs
3. High blood pressure ultimately damages the arteries to the heart and brain which can eventually lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Salt/Sodium Labeling Woes
Sodium free—-this means there is less than 5mg per serving—-
Very low sodium—this means 35mg or less per serving
Low sodium—means 140mg or less per serving
Reduced sodium—means it is reduced by 25% per serving
Light sodium—is reduced by 50%
Here are some little tips to reducing your sodium intake:
Rinse canned foods (vegetables, beans, tuna etc)
Take the salt shaker off the table
When eating out, ask the waiter to hold the salt
Read the food labels!!!!
Shoot for less than 3000mg daily