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Salt and Heart Disease

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Image is from Live Science

Do you know how much salt you consume on a daily basis? If not, you are not alone. Most people erroneously believe that their salt consumption is under control because they don’t pick up the salt shaker at home very often and when they do, they just use a little bit. The truth is that less than 25 percent of the average person’s salt consumption comes from table salt. Instead, the majority of most people’s salt consumption comes from processed foods and pre-made foods.

Increased Heart Disease

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This means that many people don’t even realize the deadly effects that high levels of salt can have on their lives. The problem with too much salt in your body is that is it pushes water into your blood vessels, which increases the total volume of blood in your system. This increase places more pressure on your heart and puts you at much higher risk for high blood pressure. As most people know, high blood pressure can lead to heart disease, which can cause a stroke, heart attack, or even heart failure.

How Much Salt

While salt is an important part of a healthy diet, most people consume a lot more than is necessary. According to the American Heart Association, most people require about 1,500 mg of sodium daily, but everyone should limit their salt intake to no more than 2,300 mg per day. Studies show, however, that the average person consumes more than 3,400 mg every day, and most don’t even realize it. This hidden danger is affecting millions of people across the country.

How to Reduce Your Salt Intake

The first step to reducing your salt intake is to start tracking how much salt you consume on an average day. You can use the Nutrition Facts Label on the foods you purchase at the grocery store to find out how many milligrams of sodium are in each serving. You also can start making healthy food choices. Trade in high sodium foods, such as red meat, candy, chips, and sugary drinks like soda for healthier alternatives like fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, and fish. The American Heart Association also list six salty foods, including pizza, cold cut meats, soup, chicken nuggets, bread, and packaged tacos/burritos.

One positive step you can take today to avoid the dangers of high blood pressure is to reduce the amount of salt you consume on a daily basis. You can make this change by making smart food choices that limit process foods, which oftentimes are packed with high levels of sodium. Eating healthy has many other great benefits, including weight loss.

 

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