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  • Shake the Salt Habit

    Sodium is essential for proper body functions, but too much can put strain on your heart and blood vessels. See how lowering the amount of sodium in your diet can help lower or even prevent high blood pressure.

  • With the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announcing efforts to reduce salt in the foods we eat, salt has become a hot topic! Table salt, or sodium chloride, is actually made up of 40% sodium, and it’s the sodium that is the cause of the health concerns.*

    Sodium is essential in the body to help regulate fluids and blood pressure. Too much sodium causes your body to retain water, which puts extra strain on your heart and blood vessels. By lowering the amount of sodium in your diet, high blood pressure can be lowered or even prevented!**

    The current recommendations from the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests that general, healthy members of the population consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium.*** The American Heart Association recommends no more than 1,500 mg of sodium daily because of the benefits lower sodium diets have on reducing and preventing high blood pressure.**

    To put things in perspective, most Americans consume an average of 3,500 mg of sodium each day, which means we have some work to do to lower sodium intake.* If you already have stopped salting your foods at the table and while cooking, great job! Unfortunately, most of the sodium in your diet comes from processed and prepared foods, so follow these tips to shake your salt habit:

    • Choose fresh and unprocessed fruits, vegetables, and meats most often. These foods are naturally lower in sodium. 
    • Read the Nutrition Facts label to become more aware of the sodium in your foods.
    • Look for labels that say “low sodium.”  Low sodium means the food has 140 mg or less per serving.
    • Use salt-free seasoning, herbs, and spices to flavor foods instead of salt.
    • Watch out for condiments like ketchup, mustard, salad dressings, barbecue sauce, and soy sauce because they are high in sodium.

    *http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/19/AR2010041905049.html

    **http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=2106

    ***http://www.health.gov/DietaryGuidelines/


  • Used with permission. ©2014 Walmart. All Rights Reserved. 

     
    Important Walmart Disclaimer: All content provided is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to substitute for the diagnosis, treatment, or advice of a medical professional. Consult your medical professional for guidance before changing or undertaking any diet, exercise or health program, or before using any prescription or over-the-counter drug. Neither the author nor Walmart.com assumes any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter. Walmart does not sponsor, recommend or endorse any third party, product, service or information provided on this site. If you have dietary restrictions and/or allergies, always read the ingredient list carefully for all products prior to consumption. If the ingredient list is not available on the product, check with the product manufacturer, or do not consume the product.

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    Whether you want to lose weight or start working out, our Diet & Exercise Wellness Shop can help. Find great prices on the best in diet and weight management, nutritional bars and sports nutrition. Get expert information and tips, or check out the Diet & Exercise Buying Guide to find the best products for your needs. You can even make an investment in your health by shopping for bikes, exercise equipment or bathroom scales.