Are You Consuming Too Much Sodium?

05/01/2013

Are You Consuming Too Much Sodium?

The answer may be yes. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the average American consumes 3500 mg of sodium a day. The most the average healthy person should have is 2300 mg. People with kidney disease or diabetes should aim for no more than 1,500 mg a day. Talk to your doctor to see what’s right for you.

Why Is Too Much Salt Bad for You?

The body needs salt, right? The answer to that is “Yes, but…” Yes, salt is essential for maintaining a proper fluid balance in and around cells. Nerve impulse transmission and muscle contraction also depend on sodium. But, your body actually requires only a small amount of sodium to accomplish these tasks. 

Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, kidney disease, heart disease and other health issues. You may already be aware of some of these risks.

Did you also know that excess sodium can contribute to bone thinning or osteoporosis? The more salt you take in, the more calcium your body flushes out in the urine, eventually causing calcium to leach out of your bones. 

So, the reality is, most of us take in way more sodium than we need. The question is what can you do about it?

Two Ways to Reduce Your Salt Intake

1. Eat fewer processed foods.

Most processed foods use salt as a preservative and to help maintain flavor after a food has been frozen and stored for a while. Much of the sodium we eat comes from prepared foods like frozen foods, breads and crackers, canned soups and other canned foods.

Read the labels before you buy. Many manufacturers are reducing the amount of sodium in their foods, so there are good options out there. Compare product labels of competing brands.

2. Use Salt Substitutes or Other Seasonings

Experiment with other spices, herbs and seasonings. There are so many choices beyond salt, you may realize you’ve been missing out all the years you stuck with just salt.

Mrs. Dash seasonings are made to add spice to your life—to add flavor to your meals without adding sodium. If you’re a salt lover, you’d be surprised how easy it is to break the habit of salting almost every food on your plate. We’re not saying go without flavor. We’re actually trying to help you find more flavor.

Finding flavor is easy with so many Mrs. Dash varieties: Original Blend, Garlic & Herb, Tomato Basil Garlic, Caribbean Citrus, Fiesta Lime, Lemon Pepper, Southwest Chipotle and more! Plus, you can use Ms. Dash marinades and our new salt-free seasoning packets too. There really is something for everyone.  

Tell us, which one is your favorite?

 

Sources for this article:

1. Dietitian Center. Reducing Sodium: Lifestyle Changes to Make to Lower Blood Pressure – Without Medication.

http://www.dietitiancenter.com/sodium.aspx

2. Harvard School of Public Health. Lower Salt and Sodium: A Key to Good Health.

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/lower-sodium-and-salt/