Stop Adding Salt to Meals and Food Preparation

Sodium is an essential nutrient that regulates blood volume, blood pressure, and pH levels. Our body uses the sodium to help control blood pressure and blood volume. Sodium is also needed for your muscles and nerves to work properly.

If you’re like many people, you’re getting far too much sodium than is needed or recommended. The average American gets about 3,400 mg of sodium a day. The body needs less than half of this amount. In truth, the body requires a mere 180 milligrams of sodium a day to function properly.

Reduce Salt Intake

There is so much sodium in foods we eat, you really don’t need to add table salt to your meals. I stopped adding salt to my meals years ago. My wife, on the other hand, adds table salt to every dinner. An over abundance of sodium can lead to serious health problems. Keep in mind… less is usually best.

The main sources of sodium come from processed and prepared foods. These foods are typically high in salt content. Processed foods include bread, meats such as bacon, sausage, and ham; prepared dinners like pasta and egg dishes; pizza, cold cuts; cheese, soups, and fast foods. Sodium does occur naturally in most foods. Milk, beets, and celery all naturally contain sodium, as does drinking water, although the amount varies depending on the source. Vegetables, dairy products, and shellfish all provide natural sources of sodium. Fast foods are generally very high in sodium.

The most common form of sodium is sodium chloride, which is table salt. However, sodium is also added to various food products. For example, items such as Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, onion salt, garlic salt, and bouillon cubes contain varying amounts of sodium.

Limiting sodium is difficult because sodium is present in nearly all foods, so it’s easy to go overboard. Both in the kitchen and at the table, many receipes call for salt and many people add salt to their food. Too much sodium can aggravate high blood pressure in people who are sodium-sensitive. In these individuals, the higher the sodium intake, the higher the blood pressure. In addition, a high-sodium diet can cause your body to lose calcium from bones, increasing your risk for osteoporosis. A serious build-up of fluid caused by excessive sodium can negatively impact people with congestive heart failure, cirrhosis, or kidney disease.

Dealing with Aging Parents

My mother has congestive heart failure, and at times high blood pressure. I am constantly nagging her to reduce her sodium intake. Moderate sodium intake through proper diet managment will greatly assist the body’s metabolism. Reducing blood pressure reduces the risk of stroke, heart disease, and kidney disease.

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