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Advantages of a Low Sodium Diet 

low sodium

Being on a low-sodium diet has many health benefits. Salt is so common in most American households that it could be a surprise that many people should be using it more sparingly. Most Americans consume more sodium than is required for their health. In addition, as people age, this fact becomes dangerous for seniors.

High-sodium diets increase the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, hypertension, and kidney failure. Low-sodium diets offer tremendous health benefits. This is especially true for seniors.

Low-sodium diets not only help prevent heart disease and stroke but also aid in the recovery of those currently living with these ailments. It also helps prevent disease by lowering blood pressure.

The harsh effects of diabetes and cirrhosis are lessened through low-sodium consumption. Those with a lower risk for heart disease live on average up to ten years longer than those at high risk.

You may wonder – “what is sodium”.

Sodium is a mineral. It is found naturally in foods. Sodium is also added to processed foods. Sodium helps keep a normal balance of fluid in your body. Patients with heart failure need to follow a low-sodium diet because it helps control symptoms of heart failure and prevent other heart problems.

Limiting sodium in your diet helps minimize the amount of extra fluid around your heart, lungs, and in your legs. Extra fluid in your body makes your heart work harder and can increase your blood pressure.

What should the average person know about sodium? In a nutshell, we should probably all be eating less, especially those at risk for cardiovascular disease. For healthy people, the recommendation is around 2,300 mg per day.

For people over the age of 51 or at risk for cardiovascular disease, the goal is to further slash salt consumption, to under 1,500 mg of sodium per day.

Over 75 percent of our salt consumption is from processed foods, food services, and restaurants.

To keep your sodium consumption under control, watch out for what the American Heart Association calls “the Salty Six”: bread and rolls, pizza, sandwiches, deli and cured meats, canned soup, burritos, and tacos. In addition, you should make sure you are reading labels and making product swaps for lower-sodium items.

By the way, Salt and Sodium are not the same things; Salt is a combination of sodium and chloride. A teaspoon of salt = 2,300 mg of sodium. Sea salt, pink himalayan and kosher salt are not processed like ordinary table salt, but they are NOT low in sodium but provide a number of nutritional benefits.  The amount of sodium is not the same for table and sea salts.

The sodium content is listed on the food label per serving size. Ignore the % daily value and focus on the amount of mg sodium per serving. Decreasing the total amount of sodium, you consume to 2,000 milligrams (mg) per day or less is one of the most important ways to manage heart failure

“Low sodium” = 140 mg or less per serving    /   “No sodium” = less than 5 mg per serving

Your doctor may recommend that you consume no more than 2,000 mg of sodium per day. That’s what the Heart Failure Society of America recommends. An even lower daily intake of no more than 1,500 mg per day for all adults is recommended by the American Heart Association. Eating a low-sodium diet means more than just eliminating the saltshaker from the table! However, that is a good start since one teaspoon of table salt = 2,300 mg of sodium. Also, remember that 77% of all sodium is in processed food.

For more health tips or to get information on our health insurance coverages, call Bethany Montgomery today 936-220-2133!

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