Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Salty Six Infographic

Several years ago I quizzed a water exercise class asking the question, "Which food has the most sodium?" I gave them a few choices with bread being one of them.  Bread, of course, was the answer but no one guessed correctly.   Sodium is one of those things that hides in our food satisfying our taste for salty.  The CDC post that 90% of Americans over the age of 2 gets too much. That is quite a young age to start down the slippery slope of increasing the risk for high blood pressure. Most of our sodium comes from processed food like bread, cheese crackers, and chips and restaurants.  So you can see that it might be easier than you think to reduce your daily sodium.  The salt shaker is not the biggest problem, but if you use one keep in mind that one-half teaspoon is 1150mg of sodium.  The recommended daily allowance for adults age 50-70 I believe is 1500mg and for those over 70 1200mg.    Let me share a few tips to help you avoid the high sodium trap.

  • If you eat processed foods, stop it as much as possible.
  • Restaurants are for special occasions.  Limit your visits.
  • Buy real food. 
  • Read your nutrition label and remember it is a value per serving.
  • Rinse items like beans to rinse off excess salt.
  • Sodium can vary for some items according to brand.  Compare brands for nutritional information as well as cost. 
  • Don't blindly trust others with your food.  My brother had to resort to eating hospital food a month ago and with his tray came the nutritional information.  At the end of the day, his three meals combined had over 4000mg of sodium.  And if you want to know the biggest threats, check out The Salty Six Infographic.

Resources:  American Heart Association, CDC website