Balancing Salt in Your Diet | HealthiNation

Uploaded by HealthiNation on 16.02.2012

Did you know that throughout history, salt has often been more valuable than gold? And
there’s a good reason: Aside from being an important food preservative and making
what we eat tastier, salt is essential for human life. But in larger quantities, salt
can also be deadly.
The components of salt (sodium and chloride) play a major role in our health. And salt
is in a delicate balance with the amount of water in our bodies. But too much salt can
raise blood pressure. And that can lead to all sorts of serious health problems…like
an increased risk for heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney disease, and probably
even stomach cancer and osteoporosis.
The average American man eats about 10 grams of salt a day, and the average American woman
eats about 7 grams. That’s WAY too much, probably more than twice what is healthy.
And if you’re over 50 or have other risk factors, you should eat even less.
A lot of people think that all the commotion about excess salt and high blood pressure
doesn’t apply to them, but actually about 1/3 of adults already have hypertension and
another 1/3 have pre-hypertension. High blood pressure and the health challenges it leads
to are a really big deal. Heart attack is the number one cause of death in the United
States, and stroke is the third. about 100,000 deaths each year have been linked to simply
eating too much salt.
There are a number of ways to lower your salt intake: toss the salt shaker and don’t add
salt to the food you make. Ask restaurants not to add salt to your dishes either. Another
good idea is to check sodium content on labels. Did you know that about 75% of the salt we
eat comes from processed foods like breads, cereals, soups, deli meats, fish and poultry?…And
don’t even get me started on most fast foods….
Salt hasn’t been traditionally regulated by the US government because it’s been considered
“GRAS” or “generally recognize as safe”. But a national coalition has been working
recently to require food manufacturers to limit the amounts of salt they put into their
products. It’s already worked in the UK, Ireland and Finland…and Japan, Australia
and Canada are also on board with this public health initiative.
Now I know from my own work as a nutritionist that change is difficult for a lot of people,
even when the facts are clear and compelling. But the good news is I also know that a person’s
sensitivity to salt can be “reset” within about 3 to 4 months. So by slowly reducing
your high salt intake, your taste buds can adjust to and appreciate the full range of
flavors without feeling meals are bland.
Now that good advice is worth it's weight in salt.
Salt script v5 9/13/12