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why should you limit sodium in your diet

Sodium is important for your body. It regulates your fluid levels, helps your muscles contract, and helps in the transmission of nerve impulses. But most Americans get at least twice as much sodium as they need, and this can be harmful. When you consume too much sodium, your body retains extra fluid. That makes your heart work harder to pump blood throughout your body and can lead to high blood pressure. Our guidelines suggest a limit of 2,400 milligrams of sodium per day for adults. That's about 1 teaspoon of salt (sodium chloride). However, table salt is only one source. Most of the sodium in the typical American diet comes from commercially prepared or processed foods. The following tips might help you consume less salt and sodium. Read the Nutrition Facts label to determine the amount of sodium in the foods you buy. The sodium content of processed foods, such as cereals, breads, soups, and salad dressings, often varies widely. Choose foods lower in sodium and ask your grocer or supermarket to offer more low-sodium foods. Request less salt in your meals when eating out or traveling. If you salt foods in cooking or at the table, add small amounts. Learn to use spices and herbs rather than salt to enhance food's flavors. When planning meals, keep in mind that fresh and most plain, frozen vegetables are low in sodium. When buying canned foods, choose those prepared with reduced or no sodium. Remember that fresh fish, poultry, and meat are lower in sodium than most that are canned or processed. Be careful when selecting prepared foods. Many frozen dinners, packaged mixes, canned soups, and salad dressings contain high amounts of sodium.

Condiments such as soy sauce (and many other sauces), pickles, and olives are high in sodium. Ketchup and mustard, when eaten in large amounts, can add significant amounts of sodium to the diet. Choose lower sodium varieties. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables as a lower-sodium alternative to salted snack foods. Watch out for sodium in unexpected places, like medicines. When buying over-the-counter drugs, read labels carefully. Sodium might be listed as an ingredient, or there may be a warning statement on the label. When you're trying to lower the sodium in your diet, you rely on labels for guidance. The following definitions will help you understand what the claims on those labels really mean. Sodium-free or salt-free: Less than 5 milligrams per serving. Very low sodium: Has 35 milligrams or less per serving. Low-sodium: Has 140 milligrams or less per serving. Light in sodium: At least 50 percent less sodium per serving than average reference amount for same food with no sodium reduction. Lightly salted: At least 50 percent less sodium per serving than reference amount. (If the food is not "low in sodium," the statement "not a low-sodium food" must appear on the same panel as the Nutrition Facts label. )
Reduced or less sodium: At least 25 percent less per serving than reference food. Unsalted, without added salt, or no salt added: No salt added during processing, and the food it resembles is normally processed with salt. (If the food is not "sodium-free," the statement "not a sodium-free food" or "not for control of sodium in the diet" must appear on the same panel as the Nutrition Facts label. ) Proper sodium intake is important part of our diet as it helps in proper functioning of our body right from regulating blood pressure to maintaining good health of vital organs like heart and kidney.

Importance of sodium in diet is well understood but why is it important to limit your sodium intake? It s about taking the right portion. If high sodium intake is bad, too less sodium is equally bad for our health which causes low BP. Excess sodium intake can cause numerous health problems and many of them are fatal. Out of all health issues, the most common disorder is high blood pressure. Direct salt is not only the source of sodium, there are many processed junk food which has very high salt content. Due to increased consumption of these foods, high blood pressure cases are soaring regardless of age. Hence, it has become extremely important to educate people of all age group on importance of limiting sodium intake in diet. If you are a foodie and at the same time you have a family history of having disease like kidney failure or high BP, it s high time for you to realize the importance of limiting your sodium intake in diet. There are many ways of limiting sodium intake. A healthy lifestyle little bit of discipline towards food that you eat is all that you would need to cut down on unhealthy foods. 1. Limited sodium intake maintains good health of your heart and avoids high blood pressure and strokes. To maintain adequate balance of sodium and potassium, it is recommended to avoid all kinds of processed food which are low in potassium and high in sodium. 2.

Junk foods are made palatable with a lot of seasoning and sauces which has high salt content. Having sodium rich junk food will definitely lead to obesity which is again, the underlying cause of many other diseases such as coronary heart diseases, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis etc. 3. Consumption of high salt containing food can lead to diabetes as well. Try to understand the quality and quantity of food that you eat and learn the importance of limiting your sodium intake before it is too late. 4. By far, the most common ailment recorded due to heavy sodium intake is renal disease. Repeated incidence of kidney stones and other renal disorders are common with people having unhealthy, high sodium diet. Also, people diagnosed with UTI or kidney stones in the past should minimize their salt intake. 5. Regular consumption of unhealthy sodium rich food might take you to a position wherein you will be left with very less options to eat. You would definitely not want to live such a depressing life where there is a NO signboard on every food you relished once. However, get active and prioritize on the importance of limiting your sodium intake for a disease free life. There are enough convincing answers to why is it important to limit your sodium intake. It s all about the mentality of a person to regulate the diet and follow a healthy lifestyle. Apart from limiting salt intake, gain knowledge on regulatory information such as food labelling. Labels such as salt-free, low sodium hold importance to understand exact amount of salt consumed.

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