Happy Thursday to you!
Sodium. It seems to be in almost everything we eat. Even foods that aren't necessarily salty, have sodium in them. Are you reading your labels? Are you watching your sodium?
Why is sodium good for you? The body uses sodium to:
*Regulate blood pressure and blood volume
*Help maintain the right balance of fluids in your body
*Help transmit nerve impulses
*Influence the contraction and relaxation of muscles
*Sodium is also critical for the functioning of muscles and nerves.
We all need a certain amount of sodium in our daily diet. If you have ever worked out really hard for a long time, you can run your hand over your forehead and FEEL the salt that your body has lost. This is one of the reasons why companies like Gatorade and Powerade are so popular. Our body needs to replace salts that we have lost through hard exercise. However, most of us get WAY MORE than our body needs.
What are the side effects of too much sodium? Well, too much sodium may lead to:
*High blood pressure
*But if for some reason your kidneys can't eliminate enough sodium, the sodium starts to accumulate in your blood. Because sodium attracts and holds water, your blood volume increases. Increased blood volume makes your heart work harder to move more blood through your blood vessels, which increases pressure in your arteries. Such diseases as congestive heart failure, cirrhosis and chronic kidney disease can make it hard for your kidneys to keep sodium levels balanced (-Courtesy of the Mayo Clinic website)
Our challenge today: WATCH YOUR SODIUM INTAKE!!!
How much sodium should you try to consume daily? Shoot for 2,300 mg or less of sodium a day if you're a healthy adult. Consider that just one teaspoon of table salt has 2,325 milligrams (mg) of sodium.
Remember that many PROCESSED foods are full of salt. Watch out for:
*Pre-packaged meals (i.e. diet meals , etc.)
*Canned meat, vegetables, and soups
*Condiments (i.e. soy sauce, salad dressing, etc.)
*Crackers and breads
This is a particularly difficult challenge for me. I don't eat a bunch of processed foods, however, I seem to always go over on my sodium. I don't add salt to my food either. I bought salt substitutes (i.e. Mrs. Dash, etc.) to have around for my family to use. Reading labels really helps too!
Remember that drinking water will help flush some of that extra sodium out of your body as well. Yet another great reason to DRINK YOUR WATER.
Post your sodium level for today here.....
Have a great Thursday!
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