Thursday, September 25, 2014

Too much salt isn't good

When I was young, I use to salt everything. Mashed potatoes and vegetables were always salted. I use to do the same for chicken and steaks.

It wasn't until I met my wife that I finally eased off the salt shaker. Since then, I avoid salting my food and limit my intake of genetically modified foods, sodas, or foods that contain MSG.

The September 29, 2014 issue of TIME Magazine has a great info-graph titled "How Much Salt Is Safe?" The graph's sub-caption reads, "Warnings abound that we're overloading on salt, but earlier in September a study found that sodium wasn't significantly linked to high blood pressure in people who were not hypertensive." 

The info-graph leads the reader through an algorithm to determine high blood pressure susceptibility.

For me, it was a quick to see my results. I don't have high blood pressure, and I don't eat out a lot or eat processed foods. Processed foods contain a lot of salt and MSG. The results read, "HOORAY! You'll always get extra points for routine blood-pressure checks with your doctor, but you're probably already in the safe salt zone. Keep it up!"

However, if you have history of high blood pressure, are over the age of 45, African American, and or consume a lot of processed foods daily, then you'll have different results.

African Americans over the age of 45 are susceptible to high blood pressure, "RISKY. Slashing salt is a good idea. The American Heart Association (AHA) advises that people with these risk factors limit dietary sodium to 1,500 mg per day - so keep an eye on your intake."

There are ways to lower blood pressure, such as daily exercise, cooking at home and eating foods with potassium, drink alcohol in moderation, and trying some form of meditation.

Source: Oaklander, Mandy. How Much Salt Is Safe? TIME Magazine, September 29, 2014, p. 20.

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