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Sodium: Benefit, Source, And How To Reduce It

On many cases, limiting the sodium is essential part of stay healthy. This is because if you are eating too much sodium, it may lead you to serious health problems.
For example, if you suffer from high blood pressure then you must limiting the amount of salt you eat. Because high blood pressure can lead to serious heart disease.
If you doesn’t have any idea how to reduce your sodium consumption, here is some information you should know about sodium then finally reducing the amount of salt you eat as written on Mayo Clinic.

1. It is essential in small amounts
The positive side of sodium from your body are:
– Helps maintain the fluid balance in your body.
– Helps transmit nerve impulses
– Affects muscle contraction and relaxation
Naturally, your kidney balancing the amount of sodium that you have on your body by holds on the sodium if it is too low or excrete the sodium if it is too high.
But if for some reason, your kidney can’t eliminate the sodium level, then the sodium will accumulate in your blood and make the blood volume increase, this can cause your heart to work harder pumping the blood. And the result is some severe disease occurs such as heart failure or high blood pressure.

2. The amount you need
The proper amount of sodium you need according to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans are:
– Not exceeded 2300 mg a day for the healthy adult
– Not exceeded 1500 mg a day for the person with high blood pressure, kidney disease, diabetes, black people, and middle aged or older.
Or you can talk to your doctor if you are not sure about how much sodium you need.

3. Main source of sodium
The main sources of sodium are:
– Processed and prepared food.
These food are high in salt, which is a combination of sodium and chloride.
– Natural sources
Some of food that contains natural sodium are celery and other vegetables, also dairy product such as milk and meat, shellfish also a good natural source of sodium.
– Table salt
Salt that you sprinkle on many recipes is the main source of sodium. These also include many condiments such as soy sauce.

4. Be a smart shopper
You should read the food label to find out the amount of sodium added or salt or sodium containing compounds. This can be found on The Nutrition Facts.
Some of these are:
– Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
– Baking soda
– Baking powder
– Disodium phosphate
– Sodium alginate
– Sodium nitrate or nitrite
You also should know about the sodium label on your food packages:
– Sodium-free or salt-free
Each serving contains less than 5 mg of sodium.
– Very low sodium
Each serving contain 35 mg of sodium or less.
– Low sodium
Each serving contain 140 mg of sodium or less.
– Reduced or less sodium
Contains at least 25% less sodium than the original version.
– Lite or light in sodium
Contains at least 50% less sodium than the original version.
– Unsalted or no salt added
No salt is added during the procession, but might be still high in sodium.
The easiest way to cut your sodium consumption is avoid product with more than 200 mg of sodium per serving.

5. How to reduce sodium consumption
The steps to limit your sodium eating are:
– Eat more fresh food and fewer processed food
– Choose the low-sodium product if you buy processed food
– Removing salt from your cooking whenever possible
– Limiting the full of salt condiments. This include soy sauce, salad dressing, sauces, ketchup, mustard, etc.
– Use herbs or spices to flavor the food
– Use salt substitutes wisely

6. Reducing gradually
It is important for you to learn enjoying your saltless food little by little. So your taste buds will adjust it.
Start by using no more that 1/4 teaspoon of salt and then gradually reduce it until you are no longer adding salt to you food.

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