Sodium consumption has been for a long time associated with certain health problems.
However, this didn’t seem to lower its consumption.
For example I am trying to keep a balanced diet and keep my sodium intake under control, but unfortunately, nowadays this is a hard thing to do, since sodium (or salt how most people know it), is present in almost everything we buy and eat, starting from processed foods, canned foods, soups and others.
What’s worse is that we might be having sodium without even knowing it, since sweets and desserts also contain salt in high amounts. And like that wasn’t enough, we usually add salt to the foods we buy when we cook them.
Recent studies have shown that Americans consume daily twice as much as the recommended amount of sodium which is 2,300 mg. Almost 80% of their sodium intake comes from the processed foods, and not from the salt they add when they cook, a major fact of concern. A healthy person should consume daily 1,500-2,400 mg of sodium (one teaspoon of salt contains 2,300 mg of sodium).
Sodium is necessary for our diet, but consumed in such an excessive amount can lead to serious health problems, like:
- High blood pressure: over 75 millions of Americans have been diagnosed with this health problem, meaning that one in three Americans has it. High blood pressure can increase the risk of developing heart diseases- like congestive heart failure and cardiac enlargement and even stroke;
- Excess sodium is also one of the causes of developing kidney stones and can aggravate kidney diseases. From my own experience, I can tell you that eliminating even the smallest kidney stone can feel like torture;
- Although sodium prevents dehydration, consumed in excess it can lead to fluid retention.
These are only a few of the excess sodium effects, but some reports show that it can also be a risk factor for osteoporosis, duodenal and gastric ulcer and stomach cancer. Sodium consumed in a very large amount and in a short time can be fatal.
For these reasons, the New York City along with other states, health organizations and food manufactures have created the National Salt Reduction Initiative (NSRI). This is a voluntary program with the main goal of helping companies to reduce salt in processed foods gradually, by 25% in 5 years.
So far, a lot of the major food manufacturers have signed on to the NSRI, such as Wal-Mart and ConAngra Foods. This initiative seems to benefit from a lot of support.
However, until results start to show, specialists recommend people to be very careful with the food they buy and how much salt they consume daily.
RSS Trackback URL 9. March 2011 (14:23)
Filed under: Nutrition by Alice in Dietland