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Salt...it's a killer

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Oh, no, I love salt....

Yep, this is about Sodium. Please put away that salt shaker.

Salt was iodized by the Morton Salt Company in 1924, at the request of the U.S. Government. There were parts of the U.S. at that time where people were not getting enough iodine, because of the lack of it in local soil, and an iodine deficiency caused goiters. Iodine is a critical element for the thyroid gland. These days, we all get plenty of iodine, and there is rarely any kind of iodine deficiency anywhere, and you will get plenty of iodine if you cut salt out of your diet.

Sodium is a necessary nutrient for our bodies. Sodium is vital for maintaining the volume of the plasma in the body for cell regeneration. It also works with the central nervous system. Sodium is naturally found in many vegetables. The highest concentrations are in spinach (1 cup contains 184 mg of sodium). You can eliminate salt from your cooking, and still get plenty of sodium for your body to function correctly, if you eat fruits and vegetables and lean meats, including fish.

Table salt, or sodium chloride, is forty percent sodium. One teaspoon of salt contains 2,300 mg of sodium. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day. That is just over a half teaspoon of sodium per day, MAXIMUM.

Excess salt is in every single product that is processed, canned or made outside your home and has been for many, many years. Salt used to be a great preservative, before the onset of refrigeration, but now has been turned into an unnecessary product that people actually crave.

The average American consumes about ten times (15,000 mg) the recommended amount of salt every day. The biggest culprits for excess salt are processed foods, ALL fast foods, and canned foods, especially soup. Many dairy products also contain a lot of salt. Packaged meats are a huge abuser of sodium. This is another good reason to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, and to cook meals at home, completely eliminating salt from the recipes. You will be amazed at how easily you can conquer your salt addiction, with additions of great herbs. An addiction to salt can actually kill you.

If you take in too much sodium, your kidneys cannot process it, you develop a toxicity, which can cause kidney disease and even kidney failure. Excess sodium causes you to retain water, which increases your blood pressure. High blood pressure can damage the heart, the blood vessels and the kidneys. Anyone with high blood pressure should be ELIMINATING sodium from their diet.

Excess sodium can also increase the risk of osteoporosis, and really increases the risk of kidney stones, because excess sodium produces excess calcium, which is eliminated through the kidneys, and sometimes becomes kidney stones. Numerous studies have shown excess sodium can also cause stomach cancer.

What you SHOULD do: Eat no more than 1/2 tsp. (1,500 mg) of salt per day. That includes checking every single thing on every single label. One can of soup will throw you over that by a wide margin. Make your own soup!!! Packaged frozen meals are filled with extra salt. All restaurants use salt liberally.

By the way, sea salt and any other fancy gourmet salt, is still salt. It just doesn't have the iodine in it. It is the same stuff, just more hip, I guess. It should be looked at just like any other salt, and used VERY sparingly.

Here's to eating clean, eating healthy, making your doctor REALLY happy, and feeling better every day.

People have been mentioning drinking water as a way to get rid of excess salt. It doesn't work if you are way over the maximum, because your kidneys still cannot process too much salt, but drinking a lot of water helps everything, so do that!!

Become a label reader!!

Spark on.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Salt intake has been an ongoing challenge for me. I grew up without salt shakers on the table or salted meals. Both parents had high blood pressure.

    My challenge has been restaurant meals. I've been a label reader for decades and do avoid salt.

    I have noticed that the Spark recommended limit of 2300mg sodium appears to be too much for my body. So, salt intake will continue to get my attention.

    Thanks for a great blog!
    1799 days ago
    Super article! I belong to a couple of Spark Teams on reducing sodium intake. I keep learning and tweaking recipes to get to 1,500/day . It really isn't that hard if you cook from scratch. It is almost impossible if you use processed foods or eat in restaurants!

    1800 days ago
    I don't eat processed foods but I sure love my salt grinder. Would be really annoyed if I had to go without salting my food. Probably get under that 1/2 tsp per day, I'm going to have to pay more attention. Thanks for sharing the info.
    1800 days ago
    emoticon emoticon Blog!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1801 days ago
    Yet again, good information and enough good reasons to read, read, read labels and make my own food!
    1801 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14034154
    What a very informative blog and I loved it. There were a few things in there that I had no idea about, so thank you for educating me. The only salt I get, is if it's already in there, as I don't use SALT at all!


    - Nancy Jean -
    1801 days ago
    Great reminder Jane. I really have not cut back on my salt.I need to start on this. Thank you for the great reminder! emoticon
    1801 days ago
    I don't add salt to home cooking or baking, and we never have it on the dinner table. Now I find ready meals and canned foods like soup taste overly salty, and it's scary to think that is what most people's taste buds are used to!
    1801 days ago
    emoticon Great information!
    Fortunately for myself, and my family, I do not add salt to anything I make, bake or cook! There is no salt on or near the table...and we don't miss it!
    1801 days ago
  • no profile photo INCH_BY_INCH
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1801 days ago
    What a wonderful lesson here -- Thank you!
    All those salty chips, popcorn, pretzels, nachos, etc--- no, no, no!
    ---and those cans of soup of course too!
    (-- and the hype about sea salt, beware )
    1801 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    1801 days ago
  • no profile photo CD12915013
    Awesome information. Thank you so much for sharing. Happy Wednesday!!
    1801 days ago
    1801 days ago
    Wonderful blog and great reminder to watch our sodium!
    1801 days ago
    Excellent information! If someone out there is struggling it might help to measure into your own shaker a 1/2 teaspoon of MORTON LITE SALT, which is 580 mg of salt. It is yours for the day! Don't add any salt to cooking, etc! I use a small portable shaker and take it with me wherever I go. This gives you a chance to cut back and still not feel deprived! I learned this at a clinic...you will be surprised that you will not even use it all! The healthier you eat, the less you need! And remember to drink plenty of water so you flush out any excess salt and refrain from retaining water!
    Thanks & Happy Wednesday!
    1801 days ago
    Great information. I have been working on reducing my sodium for years because of my blood pressure. I have been on 3 medications/day for over 20 years. I did it then because I was recently divorced, had 5 children to care for pretty much by myself, had a high pressure, high demanding job, and really didn't have the time or energy to think about what I was eating - and I was out of town several days a month.

    Now I am finally getting serious with all this. I am making my own soups, not salting the meals I cook, and it's very rare when I use the salt shaker. I LOVE salt, but I know it's not good for me!
    1801 days ago
    I'm having homemade soup for lunch today!

    Making sure we drink enough water will help flush sodium out of our bodies and ease the burden on our kidneys. I look for other seasonings to help boost flavor without all the sodium. Fresh herbs, balsamic vinegar, and spices can enhance flavor without any added salt (or just a pinch).

    Salt does make foods taste better - but too much salt makes things taste salty! Yuk!

    Keep Sparking, but don't keep salting! XOX
    1801 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13354694
    1801 days ago
    emoticon for sharing!!
    1801 days ago
    Great information :-)
    1801 days ago
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