What High Sodium Foods Can Do To Your Body And Tips To Make Better Low Sodium, Healthy Food Choices
by Debbie Benson
Today many of our favorite food choices tend to be high sodium. OK, let's be honest, we need sodium. It's not going to harm us, if eaten in proper amounts, as you actually need it to survive! Right? Unlike fats, carbohydrates, sugars, oils and other "popular" words that we use when it comes to healthy eating, sodium is necessary. We need it to help maintain the balance of fluids in our body, relax and contract muscles and transmit nerve pulses.
It's amazing how our body is though. One small problem can become another and another until our body either gives us heart disease, kidney disease and/or hypertension, just to name a few. The way sodium is dealt with inside our bodies is that our kidneys will take the incoming sodium and uses what it needs and gets rid of what it doesn't need through urine. But just like the saying goes, too much of anything isn't good and that applies to sodium as well. When you have too much for your kidneys to handle, it will begin to enter your bloodstream, which makes the blood hold more water. Because of this, the blood volume increases which makes the heart work harder to move the blood, which can lead to high blood pressure.
The daily amount of sodium according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is 2,300 mg a day, or 1,500 mg if you are 51 or over. So how exactly do you limit the amount of sodium in your body without getting too little of it in the process? Getting too little sodium is not usually a concern, especially with all the processed foods in our diet. Mother Nature has placed enough sodium in her foods, so that we don't need to add any more to it. Here are some foods that carry a lot of sodium and suggestions to switch them with.
Tips for avoiding high sodium foods:
Use caution when it comes to sodium and you can improve your health and lifespan. The fresher the food, the better it is for you. Remember that high sodium has a proven link to high blood pressure which can lead to heart failure, heart disease and a possible heart attack or stroke, which is one of the most likely causes of death in the USA. We need to use this knowledge to make wiser decisions when we decide what we want to eat. Choosing not to eat those salted French fries, or a ham sandwich, or salting your food at the table could save your life down the road. This is important. Get started by taking small steps on daily basis, by making more healthy food choices and avoiding high sodium foods.
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