Everyone’s telling you you’ve got to cut back on sodium. It’s in the news and maybe your doctor has mentioned it. Maybe you heard some pearls of wisdom on “Biggest Loser” or something about cutting back on salt.
Why does sodium even matter? “The health consequences of excessive sodium and insufficient potassium are substantial and include high blood pressure and its consequences, such as heart disease and stroke.” (taken from the article mentioned above)
It’s serious stuff. It’s recommended to keep the intake at 2,300 mg a day or lower for most people; it’s even lower if you have certain risk factors.
So, what do you do? Do you hold back on salting your baked potato now? Have you quit adding salt to the boiling water before you drop dry pasta in?
Do you know that those steps aren’t really doing much for you? It’s not the salt you add to your meal after it’s been prepared, it’s the salt that has already been added to it before you even touch it. The problem is the sodium content of packaged food.
Want an eye-opener? Check this http://www.health.com article on 25 surprisingly salty foods. I try to look for low-sodium or no salt added foods whenever I do buy something canned or jarred, but there were some things I haven’t bothered to check:
– Kellogg’s Raisin Bran (320mg). I always though sugar was the problem with cereal, but now I know…
– Morningstar Farm’s Chipotle Black Bean Burger (700mg) I knew being processed food, it’s not great for you, but who knew one had 1/3 of your daily sodium intake?
– Kraft singles (277 mg) I didn’t realize that my occasional grilled cheese sandwich could be packing about 1,000 mg of sodium. Whoops.
– Lender’s Whole Grain Plain Bagel (490 mg) Again, another product I never thought to check. It has as much sodium as a serving of Slim Jims.
– Friendship 1% Low-Fat Cottage Cheese (360 mg) Et tu, cottage cheese?
The best thing for you and your health is to aim for food that’s closest to its natural form, ie. Unprocessed. When that’s not possible, check the label and compare before you buy.