Do you know how much salt your are eating? Find out more about the sources and the results of the high-sodium American diet.
Salt is a common ingredient in the food that we eat. So common, in fact, that it is almost always seen on dinner tables in addition to being included in the dishes served. However, a diet high in sodium is definitely not healthy.
The Top 10
Sodium naturally occurs in eggs and fish. But, the top ten sources of sodium in the American diet come from the following:
- Cold cuts or luncheon meats
- Fresh and processed poultry
- Sandwiches like cheeseburgers
- Pasta dishes with sauce
- Meat dishes like meatloaf
- Snack food such as chips, pretzels and popcorn
Too much sodium causes water retention in the body. The water retention puts stress and pressure on the heart and blood vessels, leading to high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke.
How much is too much?
The average American is consuming 3,000 to 3,600 mg of sodium each day when the recommended daily allowance is 2,300 mg. The American Heart Association recommends limiting sodium intake to 1,500 mg per day.
You can reduce your sodium consumption by limiting amount of food you eat that is listed in the top 10 and by:
- Carefully reading nutrition labels and avoid high-sodium foods
- Substituting flavorful ingredients like lemon juice, herbs and spices for salt
- Cooking at home so that you know what is going into the food
- Choosing fresh or frozen vegetables over canned
The staff at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point recognizes the heart-healthy benefits of a low-sodium diet and can help you with your health-conscious diet. To find more about lowering your risk for heart disease, visit the Heart Institute online or call our free Consult-A-Nurse® at 1-888-741-5119.