November 19, 2013

Sodium, the sneaky ingredient in foods you wouldn’t expect!

About 90% of Americans eat or drink too much sodium. According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost half of the sodium intake of Americans can be traced back to 10 foods you might not suspect:
  1. White bread  and rolls
  2. Lunch meats, including deli turkey and ham
  3. Pizza (frozen or restaurant)
  4. Poultry
  5. Soups
  6. Sandwiches 
  7. Cheese
  8. Meat dishes
  9. Pasta dishes
  10. Salty snack foods, such as potato chips, pretzels, and popcorn

The U.S. Dietary Guideline for sodium is less than 2,300 mg of sodium daily for most adults, and less than 1,500 mg of sodium for individuals with a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. The CDC reports that, despite these recommendations, Americans consume about 3,300 mg of sodium daily from food alone, not including the sodium from added table salt!

Consuming too much sodium can often lead to: 
  • High blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Dehydration
  • Water retention, which causes swelling and puffiness 

Reducing the amount of sodium you consume is guaranteed to make you feel and look better, in addition to reducing your risk of heart disease or stroke. Get rid of those puffy eyes by managing your sodium intake with the following tips:
  1. Avoid processed foods, such as canned vegetables, soups, sauces, dressings, gravies, boxed foods, cheeses, etc. More salt is added to these foods to improve taste & increase shelf life! 
  2. Do not add extra salt to your meals. Season your foods with fresh herbs or seasonings that are sodium-free, such as “Mrs. Dash” 
  3. Read labels of foods and compare sodium levels in different brands of foods
  4. Eat more fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables (without sauces!)
  5. Prepare your meals at home instead of eating out or eating processed foods
  6. Drink more water! 
  7. Avoid drinking alcohol, juices, and soda. 

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