The Importance of Reducing Sodium Intake

There has been lots of confusion revolving around the salt we take. While some say that reducing the amount of salt intake is an essential step to keeping us healthy, the theory has been countered by claims that the advice is hazardous to the health. Some studies have been carried out, and conclusions made that only persons with hypertension need to reduce the salt intake. On the other hand, some major health organizations have advised Americans to cut sodium intake for the sake of their health. Majority of the hypertension cases reported in the Western societies are attributed to the excessive consumption of sodium. In turn, persons with hypertension risk getting kidney failure, heart attacks or even stroke. It should be noted that the larger composition of sodium in our meals comes from salt added by processors and restaurant, more than from the salt shakers. It is time that the society at large works together to reduce sodium intake.

A healthy American adult ought to take 2,300 milligrams of sodium in a day. The quantity will be reflected in the nutrition fact label that ought to begin in 2018 and run through to 2021. As at now, Americans consume at least 3,400 milligrams of sodium in a day. According to a report posted on The New England Journal of Medicine last year, by reducing at least 400 milligrams of sodium in a day, over 28,000 lives and an average of $7 billion could be saved. In over 75 countries where salt-lowering goals have been advocated or adopted, reports of deaths caused by hypertension are on the decline.

Sodium is indeed a critical nutrient in our bodies, and so is the chloride that makes up the entire salt molecule. The human kidney can regulate the sodium levels in the blood. If the sodium is much, the kidney dumps it in the urine, and if it is needed, the kidney reabsorbs it from the urine. The kidney may wear out if it is faced with excess sodium. Many consumers fear that by reducing the amount of salt they use, the food may lose its flavor. It is good to note that if sodium intake is reduced gradually, no one will notice any change in taste. While preparing food, you can do so without adding salt and later sprinkle a little when serving. While buying canned food, select that which is labels “low sodium.”

Read More: http://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@hcm/documents/downloadable/ucm_300625.pdf