Major Sodium contributors in our Diet

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American Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has warned high salt intake. Despite the fact that we love our salt, consuming more of it than we should is harmful to our health. This is because too much sodium raises blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. In fact, these diseases are reported to have killed more than 800,000 Americans each year and contribute an estimated $273 billion in health care costs.

The average person’s daily diet includes 3,300 milligrams of sodium, which doesn’t even include added salt that you might sprinkle on top of a dish at the table, the report showed. This amount is more than double the recommended sodium intake level for half Americans, including about six in 10 adults; the recommended intake is 2,300 milligrams per day or less of sodium. We should know that excess sodium in our diets has less to do with what we’re adding to our food and more to do with what’s already in the food.

After all, almost all foods contain sodium naturally or as an ingredient. Research has for a long time proved that processed foods are the biggest-ticket items when it comes to dietary sodium According to the CDC, approximately 65% of our daily sodium consumption comes from foods purchased outside the home, such as at a supermarket or convenience store. And it’s surprising that 40% of the sodium content is contributed by about 10 foods only, and different brands of the same food can have very different sodium content. Below is a brief description of the foods that are the major contributors of sodium in our diets;

Sandwiches

Sandwiches constitute a substantial part of the American diet and are a significant contributor to daily energy and sodium intake. Even as Americans struggle to find alternatives to improve their diets, another look at sandwich may help people to make healthy choices concerning their diet. Due to sandwiches’ considerable contributions to sodium intake, substituting lower-sodium for higher-sodium ingredients in sandwiches could significantly impact sodium intakes.

gfhfhPizza

This is the second-highest source of energy and sodium in the diet on American youths. And due to its frequent consumption, its nutrient content should be increased for health reasons i.e. to lessen its negative nutritional impact. This is because limiting pizza consumption alone isn’t enough to significantly minimise its adverse dietary effects.

Cured meat

Cured meat contains added salt which acts as a preservative. This makes it harmful when consumed in large quantities. It has been associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.

Bread rolls

Bread rolls are the no.1 source of sodium in the American diet according to a new report from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The finding seems unlikely, since bread isn’t actually saltier than any other foods in the list. But Americans tend to consume more bread rolls compared to other foods.

adfcCheese

Cheese contains high concentration of sodium. Despite the fact that the salt content cannot be tasted, it is evenly distributed. The popularity of cheese in the united states has grown rapidly in the last 50 years, with research statistics showing that its consumptions has tripled between 1970 to 2009.

Savoury snacks

These includes potato crisps, corn chips, baked snacks and crackers etc. Savoury snacks are consumed at different occasions and in different ways across America. However, potato crisps contain higher salt content than any other variety. This is because the salt is applied to the surface of the snack.

Soups

Canned soups can contain high sodium content and when it is overdone, it can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. So low-sodium soups should be opted for whenever possible. A better alternative would be vegetable based broths or vegetable puree as an ingredient. So you should feel guilty before cracking that canned soup. Also most canned foods contain added salt which acts as a preservative to extend shelf life.

Pasta dishes

As a response to dietary guidance that urges Americans to have more whole grains in their diets, there has been an introduction of pasta that is enhanced nutritionally with additional fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. However, its sodium content is less as compared to other foods in the list.

gjjPoultry

The sodium content in roasted chicken is different from that of fried chicken. So before you grasp that battered and fried boneless chicken fingers as your favourite lunch meal, explore other healthy alternatives to reduce health risks which are long term.

Meat dishes

A study has revealed that meat dishes and its products has the highest median and mean sodium contents per serving (966 and 970 mg, respectively). Therefore, the monitoring of sodium intakes that is ongoing is necessary so as to evaluate the progress in reducing sodium level consumption in the United States.

In conclusion, despite the fact much national attention is now focused on reducing sodium in food supply, consumer choices still play a vital role. Therefore, as a consumer you can control your sodium intake by comparison shopping. Because consumers “talk with their food dollars,” choosing the brand with the lowest sodium will send a message to food manufacturers that lowering sodium is important to the consumer.

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Or you are eating your way to death?

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