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General Nutrition and Diet Facts

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Dietary Sodium

 

It is also called as: Salt
Table salt is made up of the elements sodium and chlorine - the technical name for salt is sodium chloride.
Your body needs some sodium to work properly. It helps with the function of nerves and muscles. It also helps to keep the right balance of fluids in your body. Your kidneys control how much sodium is in your body. If you have too much and your kidneys can't get rid it, sodium builds up in your blood. This can lead to high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to other health problems.
A key to healthy eating is choosing foods lower in salt and sodium.

The current recommendation is to consume less than 2.4 grams (2,400 milligrams[mg] ) of sodium a day. That equals 6 grams (about 1 teaspoon) of table salt a day. The 6 grams include ALL salt and sodium consumed, including that used in cooking and at the table. For someone with high blood pressure, the doctor may advise eating less salt and sodium, as recent research has shown that people consuming diets of 1,500 mg of sodium had even better blood pressure lowering benefits. These lower-sodium diets also can keep blood pressure from rising and help blood pressure medicines work better.

Tips for Reducing Sodium in Your Diet

Buy fresh, plain frozen, or canned "with no salt added" vegetables.
Use fresh poultry, fish, and lean meat, rather than canned or processed types.
Use herbs, spices, and salt-free seasoning blends in cooking and at the table.
Cook rice, pasta, and hot cereals without salt. Cut back on instant or flavored rice, pasta, and cereal mixes, which usually have added salt.
Choose "convenience" foods that are lower in sodium. Cut back on frozen dinners, pizza, packaged mixes, canned soups or broths, and salad dressings these often have a lot of sodium.
Rinse canned foods, such as tuna, to remove some sodium.
When available, buy low- or reduced-sodium, or no-salt-added versions of foods.
Choose ready-to-eat breakfast cereals that are lower in sodium.

 


 
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All health care decisions should only be made with consultation from your physician.

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