Let’s talk about salt, baby! Sodium in the diet seems to be a fairly popular topic of interest recently. Unfortunately, the diets of many Americans exceed the recommended sodium amounts. This is largely due to the pre-packaged, processed, convenience and fast food day and age we live in. Increased sodium level can lead to many serious health side effects. Therefore, it is important that we educate ourselves on sodium in the diet. Sodium consumption guidelines slightly varies depending on age, health factors, activity levels, etc. That being said, here are a few key points about sodium:
-The basic recommendation for sodium (according to the American Heart Association) is that one eats no more than 2300 mg/day. However, an even better goal for most Americans is to limit dietary sodium to 1500 mg/day.
– For those that sweat A LOT, you do not have to limit sodium so extensively. When you are working out, you sweat out sodium. Therefore, these people should remain under the 2300 mg/day recommendation, but not necessarily the 1500 mg/day suggestion.
-Sodium does not just come from the salt shaker! Next time you are at the grocery store, check the nutrition labels as you walk down the aisles. You would be surprised at some of the foods that contain large amounts of sodium. Because salt aids preservation, the pre-packed, processed foods that we all love are simply loaded with extra sodium.
So, how do we keep our sodium levels in check? Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins is preferred for an overall sodium-friendly, heart-healthy diet. Additionally, be vigilant in checking nutrition labels for hidden sodium. Many products have low or reduced sodium options, try investing in these healthier options.
Be Smart, Not Salty! ~Katie