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Salt for the Heart - Benefits of Salt for Heart Health

Salt for the Heart - Benefits of Salt for Heart Health

Delicious Cardiac Nutrition

Food can taste bland and flavorless if it isn't seasoned with salt. Salt is also
the reason sea water burns our eyes and skin. Bathing in saltwater is a
popular practice among some people. Is it healthy for us? Do we
understand enough about salt and how it affects our bodies?
Did you know that the average American consumes more than twice as
much sodium as the American Heart Association recommends? And, on
average, people around the world consume roughly twice as much as the
World Health Organization recommends. According to researchers, this
consumption contributes to 2.3 million deaths each year from
cardiovascular disease, mainly from coronary heart disease, including heart
attacks and strokes. You can't change your age or your family history of
heart disease, but you can adjust your salt intake, a risk factor for heart
disease that you can address starting now.
Listen in to learn why salt can be hazardous to your heart health, as well as
practical recommendations for lowering sodium for a heart-healthy diet.

What effect does sodium have on my heart?

When you have too much sodium in your blood, it pushes water into your
blood vessels, increasing the total amount or volume of blood inside them.
Blood pressure rises as more blood flows through your blood vessels. It is
similar to turning up the water supply to a garden hose; as more water is
blasted through it, the pressure in the hose rises.
High blood pressure may overstretch or damage blood vessel walls over
time, accelerating the buildup of plaque that can obstruct blood flow. The
increased pressure exhausts the heart by requiring it to work harder to
pump blood throughout the body. Additionally, having too much water in
your body can cause bloating and weight gain.

Because its symptoms are not always visible, high blood pressure is the
"silent killer." It is one of the critical risk factors for heart disease, which is
the leading cause of death worldwide. Almost no one is granted a free
pass. Throughout their lives, ninety percent of American adults are
predicted to have excessive blood pressure.
Did you know that sodium might have an even more significant impact on
your blood pressure if you are salt sensitive? According to recent research,
specific characteristics, such as age, weight, race or ethnicity, gender, and
some medical disorders, such as diabetes or chronic renal disease, may
influence how your blood pressure fluctuates when you eat salt.
Even if you don't have high blood pressure, eating less sodium can help
slow the age-related rise in blood pressure. It can also lower your risk of
having a heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney disease, osteoporosis,
stomach cancer, and even migraines.

What is the source of all this sodium?

Table salt is made up of two minerals: forty percent sodium and sixty
percent chloride.
Pre-packaged, prepared, and restaurant foods account for more than
seventy percent of the sodium we consume. The remaining salt in our diet
occurs naturally in food, approximately fifteen percent, or is added when
cooking and eating, about eleven percent. Even if you never use the
saltshaker, you're probably consuming too much sodium.
Unfortunately, since most of the salt consumed is in food before buying it, it
can be difficult to manage sodium intake. However, you have the right to
determine how much sodium you consume. According to an American
Heart Association (AHA) poll, around three-quarters of adults in the United
States want less sodium in packaged and restaurant foods.

What are the advantages of lowering your salt intake?

Eating less sodium will lower your chances of high blood pressure and
bloating, as well as other side effects of excessive salt consumption. And
did you know that lowering salt levels in the food supply can save both
money and lives?According to one estimate, reducing Americans' sodium intake to 1,500
milligrams per day might result in a 25.6 percent overall decrease in blood
pressure and a 26.2 billion dollar savings in health care costs.
According to another estimate, attaining this objective would cut
cardiovascular disease mortality by 500,000 to roughly 1.2 million over the
next ten years.

How can I lower my sodium intake?

Most of us are aware that consuming too much sodium is bad for our
health, but we frequently believe that we should be more concerned about
it as we age. Unfortunately, this is not the case; excessive salt consumption
throughout childhood raises blood pressure, which continues into adulthood
and later life, increasing our risk of heart disease and stroke. It is a good
idea to consider how we can limit our salt intake at all ages. Here are some
pointers to get you started.

Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit and choose whole, unprocessed foods.

The key to a heart-healthy eating pattern is to base our diets on minimally
processed foods high in vegetables and fruits. These foods contain less
salt than processed foods. The more processing there has been, the more
likely salt has been added along the route.
Around forty percent of your cart should be loaded with veggies and fruit
when you go grocery shopping. Fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and
vegetables are all excellent choices. Just make sure to remove the brine or
salty water from canned vegetables.

Before you buy, read food labels to help you choose less salty products.

When you start comparing items, you'll notice how the sodium content
varies so much amongst them. Use the Nutrition Information Panel on food
labels to locate items with the lowest sodium per 100 grams. When it
comes to reading food labels, less is more! Choose items with the lowest
salt content per 100 grams.Compare foods rich in salts, such as processed meats and sauces, as well
as packaged foods you frequently eat, such as bread and breakfast
cereals. Although these items have low sodium levels, they can add a lot of
salt to our diets, which can quickly pile up, especially if we eat several
slices of bread every day.

Remove salt and salty sauces from the table so that younger family members do not develop a habit of adding salt.

Tomato sauce, mustard, barbeque sauce, chutneys, and soy sauces have
high salt content. The truth is that most of us have probably consumed
more salt than is advised thanks to packaged foods before picking up a salt
shaker or drowning our dinner in tomato sauce.
Children acquire their tastes and eating habits from a young age. If a child
is exposed to salty meals while they are young, they are more likely to
prefer salty foods as adults. If your household frequently utilizes table salt
and salty sauces, removing them from the table will help you lessen your
dependence on sauces to flavor meals.
What about sauces that are lower in salt? You may have observed that
several sauce manufacturers feature reduced salt variants, such as "35
percent less salt tomato sauce." These are fantastic options to search for if
your family likes sauce, but keep in mind that these sauces contain
"reduced" salt but are still not "low" in salt.

To add flavor to your food during cooking and at the table, substitute herbs, spices, garlic, and citrus for salt.

Although most of the salt we consume comes from processed and
packaged foods, you can add flavor to your meals by substituting herbs,
spices, and citruses like lemon or lime zest, sauces, and vinegar for salt.
Remember that components like stock, soy sauce, and miso all contain
hidden salt, so go easy on them and opt for lower or reduced salt versions
if available.
Gradually reduce the amount of salt in your favorite dishes; your taste
receptors will adjust over time.

Reduce your consumption of processed meats, smoked foods, and salty takeout.

Another easy strategy to lower our salt intake is to eat less salty meals and
eat more whole, minimally processed foods.
Salt levels are high in processed meats such as ham, bacon, sausages,
lunches, tinned corned beef, smoked chicken, and smoked fish. Try
alternating processed and smoked meats with sandwich toppings like
chicken, tuna, egg, and hummus to reduce salt.
Takeout meals are much more expensive than home-cooked meals, and
they typically contain more salt. Try creating similar dishes at home as an
alternative. If you eat out one day a week, limit your salt intake for the
remainder of the week.
The science underpinning sodium reduction is unmistakable. Excess
sodium consumption is linked to high blood pressure, which raises the risk
of heart attack, stroke, and heart failure. While some recent research
questions the link between sodium and health concerns, the correlation is
well-established. The newest research contributes to a more considerable
discussion regarding salt intake that has emerged over the last five years,
but it does not replace the existing findings.

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