Sodium Health Bites
April 13, 2009
Sodium Health Bites
by Chef Noche
Most of us do not become aware of sodium in our diets until a doctor points it out to us, or a family member. We know we can eat too much junk food, we take notice of every diet plan or pill that gets national attention, but we don't pay too much attention to our sodium intake.
The average American consumes 4,000 milligrams of sodium per day. The FDA recommends 2,400 milligrams of sodium per day, and this amount is the basis of the percentages you see when you read a nutritional label. Your body needs about 500 milligrams of sodium per day.
Lunch Check, Please
I am having a can of Light Chicken Noodle soup for lunch today. Each can is two servings, so by doubling the nutritional information on the label, I will be having:
With a side salad, this is a totally acceptable lunch for my Diabetic Diet. However, I will be consuming 1,360 milligrams of sodium, or 56.7% of the sodium I should have in one day. How much sodium are you having for lunch?
- 140 calories
- 3 grams of fat
- and 20 carbohydrates
As a diabetic, or for anyone that wants to maintain a Healthy Lifestyle, I would never have 56.7% of my calories, fat, or carbohydrates in just one meal. I normally space nutrients over the course of a day to help my body not have to process any excess.
60 million Americans have high blood pressure. That translates to one out of four adults over the age of 18. High blood pressure in adults is defined as a consistently elevated blood pressure of 140 mm Hg systolic and 90 mm Hg diastolic or higher.
- The top, larger number is called the systolic pressure. This is the pressure generated when the heart contracts (pumps). It reflects the pressure of the blood against arterial walls.
High blood pressure has become the second most common reason for medical office visits in the United States. What makes high blood pressure important is that initially it may cause no symptoms but can still cause serious long-term complications.
- The bottom, smaller number is called the diastolic pressure. This reflects the pressure in the arteries while the heart is filling and resting between heartbeats.
High Blood Pressure Solutions
No doubt, making changes to your lifestyle is not easy, but small gradual steps towards a long term goal is better than ignoring the needs of your body, and not making any progress. High Blood Pressure, and the prevention of High Blood Pressure is something we all could be more aware of.
The #1 best solution to reverse high blood pressure is to decrease the size of your body. Specifically, get your Body Mass Index under 30 and ultimately within 15% of your ideal weight. You can use the DineWise BMI Index to see what your rating is.
The #2 best solution is to reduce your sodium intake. The first step would be to count how much sodium you take in on an average day to make yourself aware of your own sodium usage. Then, adjust your diet to FDA and American Heart Association recommendations of no more than 2,400 milligrams.
The #3 best solution is to add regular exercise to your lifestyle. A sedentary lifestyle contributes to the development of obesity and high blood pressure. Exercise, with regular water consumption, helps your body rid itself of excess sodium. Have you noticed sweat is salty?
DineWise Low Sodium Meals range between 50 and 550 milligrams of sodium. Use the meals in this section if you are interested in weight loss, diabetic, or healthy lifestyle meals. These meals adhere to our regular Advisory Board Guidelines, but are further qualified for low sodium diets.