Salt Can Kill You

Sodium, sodium in diet, fluid retention, can cause death.

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For many years the experts have been advising people to lower their sodium intake. Most people that have normal blood pressure don’t think the warning applies to them. When persons are dieting they are told to restrict salt. And why? Sodium ions just love to retain fluid. If you were forced to drink sea water you would grow increasingly thirsty, bloated and die.

High sodium intake causes the body to retain water in some cases a person could be carrying 20 extra pounds of fluid. This is usual in cases of congestive heart failure. Excess fluid in the body puts a terrible strain on the heart and blood vessels. That increases the risk of high blood pressure which can cause stroke and heart attack or failure. In congestive heart failure the fluid over-load spills out of vessels into system that may put so much pressure on surrounding tissue the skin breaks open(most often the legs) and fluid leaks out. When these fissures on the legs appear they are highly susceptible to bacteria and ulcers may form. The worst case scenario is gangrene.

According to the American Heart Association, the average Am,erican eats 2,900 mg to 4,300 mg of sodium a day. A Big Mac may contain your total allowed sodium for the day. Sorry folks! The AHA recommends less than 1,500 mg. per person. Nine out of ten Americans will develop high blood pressure in their lifetime. So sentient humans would want to prevent this if they could. And you can prevent or delay it. There are variables, families that have generations of heart and circulatory problems may find it more difficult to regulate.

Getting rid of your salt shaker and not cooking with salt is not the entire answer to the problem. There are hidden sources of  sodium; one third of your sodium intake comes from baked goods. Prepared and prepackaged as well as processed food have walloping sodium levels. If the label reads soda it means sodium. Hot coco mix is a high offender. Even low salt items may be well over your sodium budget. Read labels! How many times have you heard that but it is the sane way to avoid high levels of sodium. Canned and powered soups are dangerous offenders.

A low salt diet does not need to be boring. Use lots of natural seasonings and flavors to your meal. Avoid soups unless they state low sodium, prepackaged goods, baked goods, and processed foods. Frozen fruits and vegetables contain little sodium. When eating out order grilled meats, steamed vegetables, and steer clear of dressings, gravies, and sauces. Try to eat foods high in potassium as potassium blunts the effects of sodium and helps to keep blood pressure normal.

Who wants to make them self sick if they have an easy and tasty way to prevent ill health?

Write to the American Heart Association and you can receive free menu and recipe books. Your local pharmacy also contains free pamphlets and brochures on healthy eating. Good luck and keep it LOW!                         

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