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NYXWOLFWALKER SparkPoints: (168,070)
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1/23/13 2:27 P

It is a mazing at how much sodium people can and do eat, I've actually had my doctor say that I needed to increase my sodium intake that I wasn't getting enough to balance things out (my average is 500mg a day - which is according to the Canadian Heart Association the bear min for someone who isn't very active and I'm fair active).

My own issue is I don't like salty things in general less I am craving them then ya I wont them (but I crave them on such a rear occasion that its its own struggle to get foods in that are higher then my normal deal).

JESSAELINN SparkPoints: (22,120)
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1/23/13 2:17 P

Sounds good. That's exactly what I was thinking... we usually don't realize we have a problem until a real problem exists due to over-consumption over time. One day we eat a cookie isn't going to hurt us. But every day, all the time, yes it would.

I guess I should stop salting my pickles, eh?

LOL Just kidding, it is something I USE to do, because I love salt. But wow I realized later on that it was way overboard.

I added sodium to my tracker, I had nearly reached a dangerous level yesterday, but yesterday was a bad day.

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
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1/22/13 11:52 A

JESSAELIN, as others mentioned, salt contributes to high blood pressure and other issues.

I have to watch mine (although I'm not always good at it) because in my mid-20s I had high blood pressure, so high that my doctor said if I didn't do something I'd have to go on meds. I thankfully was able to get it under control through other methods, but it's still a concern. My dad died at the age of 52, from issues caused by high blood pressure. He had a brain hemmorhage and then a few months later he had multiple strokes all over his body, which killed him. This is a guy who was only a little bit overweight, and worked a very physical job most of his life. In his last physical, his blood pressure was "borderline high" but not so high the doctor felt the need to put him on meds, they said they would just check it again at his next appointment. His appointment was set for a week after his brain hemmorhage. Oh and his mother had strokes at a few different times in her life, caused by high blood pressure, and she wasn't even overweight and walked 3 miles a day.

So yes, salt can be very bad, especially if you have a family history of it and if you have other health issues.

Edited by: YOJULEZ at: 1/22/2013 (11:54)
MEG-NATALIA07 Posts: 679
1/22/13 11:01 A

Another thing that can help is upping your intake of potassium which helps balance the sodium and flush out some. Vegetables and fruits are great. I'm really enjoying steamed swiss chard---which is also a great source of magnesium.

BANDOMOM1 SparkPoints: (3,254)
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1/22/13 10:28 A

Dash of Italian Sea Salt. I try to cut salt out, once you can get used to that, then thats great, and better for you..

MISSRUTH Posts: 4,306
1/22/13 10:04 A

One of the easiest (well, *easy* is in the "eye of the beholder") ways to cut the sodium intake, is to cook from scratch at home. Restaurant food is high in sodium, as are a lot of canned and prepared foods from the grocery store. Some canned things now come in "no salt added" versions.

My blood pressure has always been 110/70 but my doctor did mention to me, that although it's not a big deal right now how much sodium I eat, being "used to" salty food, would make it harder for me to cut back if I ever had to. I added sodium to my Tracker, just to see how much I consume.

Sometimes though I just feel like staying within my calorie ranges, and balancing out the carbs, fat, and protein, are enough for the day!

DIDS70 Posts: 5,368
1/22/13 10:04 A

If you still want the salt, use pink himalayan salt or sea salt. You still get the taste but it is a bit healthier.
I also changed to Braggs Amino acid which is a saltless version of soy sauce. Tastes like soy sauce, but no salt. Bet you can't even tell the difference.

I haven't used table salt (iodized) in years.

JESSAELINN SparkPoints: (22,120)
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1/22/13 9:48 A

My most recent lab work showed a little above healthy on LDLs, a little low on HDLs, but my blood pressure has always been very good, always 120/80, I believe my last Dr's exam showed 120/84? So, I don't have blood pressure issues, but it's not to say that I won't in the future if I don't lower the cholesterol. I also have healthy levels everywhere else on a basic lab test, including thyroid function, which is good since I have only half my thyroid. Yes!

Thanks guys!

REYNINGSUNSHINE SparkPoints: (20,387)
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1/21/13 1:20 P

Jessaelinn- If you are healthy (get bloodwork done... check your electrolyte levels and check your blood pressure), there is no reason to cut back on salt, really, unless you want to stop feeling bloated. Personally, I need to struggle to UP my salt intake. I have genetically low blood pressure and don't eat tons of salty foods already. I once had hyponaetremia, which is low blood sodium. It wasn't deathly low, but I would often have my vision cut out, I was always way weak... It was at a time where all I did was volunteer as a tutor at a high school, and often times I could barely make it through one session without throwing up... Went to the doc, and my BP had spiked down and the electrolyte analysis was off too! I preferred to battle it via natural ways instead of drugs and just upped my sodium intake.

Now then. I think that you need to be careful about being put on any medication. Always talk to your doctor OR YOUR PHARMACIST. Pharmacists I think are often overlooked. Doctors are wonderful resources so go there, but you don't need to schedule a new appointment just to ask what is OK on your meds. Pharmacists have to go to a professional school, too, where they focus quite a bit on learning drug interactions. They will often be able to tell you what is or isn't okay to take on your medications. ALWAYS tell your doctor exactly what you do supplement and drug wise when they ask. Even multivitamins need to be reported!

But, I want to ask- is the goal symptom management or actual treatment? If you ARE on BP medications, I think the main goal (if just because of the cost of some of that stuff!) is to eventually get off of it! Meaning look at how you can get healthy via diet and exercise. Definitely not worried about that here on Spark, but something to remember. Drugs are to be used in "extreme circumstances" when lifestyle changes can't fix the problem in the necessary time period :)

35BYMAY SparkPoints: (1,477)
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1/21/13 11:28 A

just punching in here... if anyone is on blood pressure meds with diuretics (water pills) you MUST talk to your doctor before using salt substitutes... *some* water pills are potassium sparing (while some deplete potassium), and using salt substitutes with potassium sparing water pills can contribute to hyperkalemia, a medical emergency.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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1/21/13 10:43 A

High sodium intake can lead to high blood pressure; stokes, heart disease and kidney disease. It also causes fluid retention (bloat) and can contribute to unwanted pounds.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 1/21/2013 (10:44)
JESSAELINN SparkPoints: (22,120)
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1/21/13 9:27 A

What's so bad about salt?

LOL Salt is the hardest thing for me to give up, I really have a tendency to forget why we should watch our salt intake.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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1/21/13 9:22 A

That's the right attitude. It's all about tweaking your diet and figuring out where you can improve each week.

If you eat clean, you will cut that sodium intake in half (or more, depending on how strict you are). Choose fresh produce and whole foods, be weary of anything that comes in a can, box, bag, or container. Cut back on the condiments and instead use herbs, spices, seed, canola, olive oils and other healthy alternatives (like greek yogurt instead of sour cream). Lots of fresh veggies, whole grains, legumes, lentils, fruit and lean "fresh" protein.

I try to stay around the middle of my rec. sodium range. About 1400-1500 mg.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 1/21/2013 (09:26)
REYNINGSUNSHINE SparkPoints: (20,387)
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1/21/13 3:50 A

One thing I find many people overlook when they cut out their sodium (salt) intake is potassium! It's wonderful to cut down your sodium, but there is a necessary level of it you need in your body. It's one of the most overlooked minerals but it is sooo necessary. You might find that while your Na is way high... your K is way low. Definitely look at it and maybe make it another mini-goal for a week or so- load up on those fruits and veggies!

KOALA_BEAR SparkPoints: (18,475)
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1/20/13 9:19 P

What a good goal to have! I too have cut way back on artifical sweetners so cut down one the diet soda from 1 per day at lunch to 1 per wk. I drink plain ice tea now when I go out since I drink plain water at my desk throughout the day.

I began using a salt substitute - No-Salt is made with potassium chloride rather than sodium chloride and tastes the same. Has made a big difference and my blood pressure - which was never really high but out of whack from thyroid issues - is back in the normal range. I really like the No-Salt for cooking as some soups just need a touch of something besides herbs to bring out the flavor I crave.

I also heard that celery is good for lowering blood pressure and that's interesting because it is a slightly salty veggie. I know it cuts the sweetness when I juice carrots or beets. I 'm going to juice some, and add it to my AM smoothies.

SINGLEGAL3 SparkPoints: (2,905)
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1/20/13 8:28 P

Not a real surprise to me....but 2 days in the last week I've been over my goal in salt intake. This is my next goal decrease my salt intake. This past week my goal was to drastically reduce my soda pop intake, and it has had great effects!

....One week at a time!

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