Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sodium....the addiction

The more we eat of something the more our bodies become addicted to having the substance daily.  Sodium is highly used the the American diet through all of our packaged and preserved foods, frozen dinners, canned foods, cured and salted meats, our "pop", and as a flavor enhancer (often before we even take a bite). 

A high sodium diet not only leads to water weight retention but various health problems.  These problems include high blood pressure, heart disease, and kidney problems.  

Now I'm not saying complete eliminate sodium from your diet it does have essential biological functions.  Salt is needed to maintain proper fluid balance, transmit nerve impulses, and help in muscle contraction and relaxation.  So what to do?  Limit your sodium levels to 2,300mg/day or less and 1,500mg/day or less if you are over 50.

  • Read food and drink labels and avoid those high in sodium.  Don't forget to check those jarred sauces, cheese, bread, yogurt, milk and dressings.
  • Look for labels that advertise low sodium.
  • Steer clear of the frozen dinners and packaged meals. 
  • Avoid the cured meats; bacon and cold cuts.
  • Avoid the high salt chips.
  • Stick with the low sodium soy sauce or none at all.  Often there is enough in the fish.
  • Remove the table salt.  Guarantee you get enough sodium from the packaged foods and going out to eat.  When you have control of your meals use flavorful seasonings instead of salt and keep the salt off the table. 
So what happens when you OD- on salt?
  1. Drink lots of water.
  2. Work up a sweat.
  3. Sauna.
  4. Chamomile Tea.

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