Educate your community about healthy eating with this informative Reducing Sodium Pamphlet. Establishing healthy eating habits involves several different factors like maintaining an appropriate caloric intake, consuming limited amounts of fat and cholesterol, and getting adequate fiber. What most people overlook, however, is the amount of sodium they’re ingesting every day. While sodium is an important nutrient, it’s also found in excess in many foods. Especially in frozen packaged ones. This Reducing Sodium Intake brochure begins by noting that sodium occurs most commonly in the mineral salt. Salt is the most familiar source of sodium in the human diet. Often found in artificial preservatives and flavorings.
Too much or too little sodium in the diet can lead to many health problems. Sodium plays a crucial role in maintaining fluid balance in the body and conducting nerve impulses. Most people consume too much sodium every day, frequently without knowing it.
The body needs at least 500 milligrams of sodium each day. The FDA suggests that most individuals should not consume more than 2300 milligrams per day. Some groups, like the elderly or those with high blood pressure, should limit themselves to 1500 milligrams per day. One teaspoon of salt contains the RDA of sodium.
Consuming too much sodium on a regular basis may lead to high blood pressure. Moreover, consistently high blood pressure puts a lot of strain on the heart. Excess sodium in the diet also strains the kidneys, making them less effective and more prone to failure as time goes on.
It’s easy to get used to high amounts of sodium in food.
Especially when a diet consists of mainly processed foods or from restaurants. Individuals who partake in a natural diet with lean meats, vegetables, and whole grains typically have less of a taste for salty foods. Salt can help to bring out the flavors in food, which can result in disastrous consequences for senior citizens. With age, the tongue becomes less able to taste flavors. Senior citizens may compensate for this by adding too much salt to their food, ultimately impacting their kidneys as well as blood pressure.
Popular high sodium foods include potato chips, crackers, vegetable juice, canned soup, and cured meats. Other foods like bagels and breads may be high in sodium as well. Reduced daily sodium intake by avoiding processed and packaged foods.
Other simple steps can help to reduce daily sodium intake as well. Checking nutrition labels and tracking every day’s total sodium intake can help to keep it in check. Some individuals salt their food before even tasting it as this action has become an ingrained habit.
The palate will take time to adjust as sodium intake is reduced. The first few days of this transition may be the most difficult, but with time, salty foods will become less enjoyable. As with many healthy endeavors, small and manageable steps are the keys in successfully reducing sodium intake.
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To learn more about proper nutrition at ChooseMyPlate.gov.