Get the Scoop on Sodium

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You might be surprised where all that salt is coming from
Most of us consume too much salt. Period. If you don't, the truth is you're the exception. In fact, if you're over 51, African American or have diabetes or high blood pressure there's a nine out of 10 chance that you're exceeding the daily recommended allowance of between 1,500 mg/day to 2,300 mg/day of sodium.

Cut-Down-on-Salt-Intake-Now that the numbers show we're consuming too much sodium, how do we go about limiting our intake? Well, the best place to start is to carefully and consistently read the labels on any package. And keep in mind that sodium isn't just a problem in processed foods; it's also naturally occurring in some non-processed foods such as dairy prod­ucts and meats. You also want to pay attention to recipes, many of which call for additional salt.

To get a good idea of the sources for sodium that make up our daily life, take a look at the list below compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

The Top 10 Items That Add to Our Sodium Intake

1. Bread and rolls (7.4% of overall sodium con­sumption)
2. Cold cuts and cured meats (5.1%)
3. Pizza (4.9%)
4. Fresh and processed poultry (4.5%)
5. Soups (4.3%)
6. Sandwiches, such as cheeseburgers (4.0%)
7. Cheese (3.8%)
8. Pasta mixed dishes, such as spaghetti with meat sauce (3.3%)
9. Meat mixed dishes, such as meat loaf with to­mato sauce (3.2%)
10. Savory snacks, such as chips and pretzels (3.1%)AncientGrainsBread

How did bread end up as the number one food item that contributes to our salt consumption? The CDC attributes that high ranking to the fact that bread is often consumed numerous times in various forms throughout the day. You will also notice that is it very easy to take in a large amount of sodium in many foods that you would consider not to be salty.

In light of the added salt that shows up in your diet one of the most important things you can do is simply pay more attention. And be sure to read the article in this month's My Healthy Lifestyle on some creative and healthier substitutes for your daily salt.


 

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