A Less Salty Life Saves Lives

by Cathy Miller on February 19, 2013

in Health and Wellness

bigstock-a-salt-shake-half-filled-with--25926704You reach for that package of sliced turkey and think healthy.

Do yourself a favor and flip the package over.

  • Look at the nutritional information
  • Zero in on the Sodium data
  • Some packaged turkey range from 600-800 milligrams (mg) of sodium

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s recommended intake of sodium is less than 2,300 mg. – roughly a teaspoon of salt.

It’s 1,500 mg for people over 51 or who have high blood pressure and other medical conditions. And the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends the lower intake of 1,500 mg. for everyone.

Now, look at the packaged turkey slices again. Let’s say the package you are holding has 600 mg of sodium per serving.

  • One serving has over 1/4 (26%) of your daily allowance of sodium
  • Those with a 1,500 daily allowance consume 40% with that one turkey serving

Cutting down on sodium would save lives.

A Little Less Shaking

A study published in the AHA’s journal, Hypertension reports that reducing sodium consumption could save 280,000 to 500,000 U.S. lives over the next 10 years.

While we immediately think salt when we hear the word sodium, salt is not the primary source of sodium.

Perhaps in the old days, that might have been the case. You know, ancient history – like my youth.

In an earlier report, AHA shared a startling statistic.

“Up to 75 percent of the sodium that Americans consume is found in processed foods such as tomato sauce, soups, condiments, canned foods and prepared mixes.”

A Little More Flipping

Several years ago,  I got in the habit of flipping packages and reading the nutritional information.

You’d be shocked (or maybe not) how much sodium they use as filler in almost everything.

Okay, maybe not everything, but at times, it seems like it.

Take a look at this list of High-Sodium Packaged Food.

An Even Better Way

In our busy, fast-paced world, it’s easy to reach for what’s quick.

If you can wean away from pre-packaged foods and go with fresh, you put the salt shaker and preparation back in your hands.

Who doesn’t want control over what we eat?

What suggestions do you have for cutting down on sodium?

BigStock Photo Credit


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Notice of Disclaimer –Cathy Miller is not an attorney or health care provider and cannot provide legal or health care advice. The information provided is for your general background only, and is not intended to constitute legal or health care advice as to your specific circumstances. We recommend you review legislation with legal counsel and visit your physician for health care issues.


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