So the first question for today is this . . . are "salt" and "sodium" the same thing???
Well . . . "table salt" and "sodium" are often used interchangeably . . . but in reality . . . they're not actually the same thing . . . but they are related and part of one another.
You see . . . "table salt" is actually a chemical called "sodium chloride" and is found in abundance in nature.
And "sodium" is a mineral found in "salt".
Well . . . we need this "sodium" in the body for normal muscle and nerve functions. And with this . . . it also helps to keep body fluids in balance.
"Sodium" is both an "electrolyte" and a "mineral". Which helps keep the water inside and outside the body's cell in balance. And most of the sodium in the body . . . about 85% . . . is found in blood and our "lymph fluid system".
But . . . most Americans with this Western diet we love so much . . . consume "too much" sodium. And when we consume too much . . . it raises the body's blood pressure. And as we know . . . high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
And in this Western diet . . . salt (sodium) is used as a preservative in plentiful amounts . . . putting our health at risk.
Okay . . . so now you ask . . . what foods are highest in "sodium"???
Well . . . that would be . . . smoked, cured, salted or canned meats, fish or poultry including bacon, cold cuts, ham, hot dogs, sausage, sardines, caviar and anchovies, frozen breaded meats and dinners like burritos and pizza, canned ravioli, spam and chili, salted nuts and canned beans.
So how much it too much???
Well . . . the 2020-2025 Dietary guidelines for Americans recommends that Americans consume less than 2300 milligrams of "sodium" per day as part of a healthy eating pattern.
And guess how much "sodium" the average American on this Western diet consumes per day???
3400 milligrams per day . . . did you guess right???
Okay . . . with that being said . . . even thought the Dietary guidelines state the average American should consume no more than 2300 milligrams per day . . .
The body only actually needs . . . can you guess???
Well . . . that would be 1500 milligrams per day for optimal health. Can you see why we're all having high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes???
Well . . . tomorrow let's continue and discover what some of the symptoms of too much "sodium" are and a way to fix it.
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