Salt and Health: Too Much Salt?

(Seattle Medium) — Salt is not only critical to our lives, but is one of the basic elements of which our bodies are made. Needless to say without salt we could not exist for a moment. However too much salt can be hazardous to our health such as increasing the risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. This is cause for concern, as heart disease and stroke are the No. 1 and No. 3 killers of men and women in the United States each year. (Cancer is No. 2.)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that the average American consumes 4,000 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day – far more than the maximum recommendation of 2,300 mg (the equivalent of one teaspoon of salt). But a recent Centers of Disease Control and Prevention report suggests that 69% of Americans need to cut back even further, to no more than 1,500 mg (the equivalent of 2/3 teaspoonful of salt) per day. This would apply to people over 50, most African Americans, diabetics and those with high blood pressure or chronic kidney disease.

Let’s take a look at Mrs. A. She’s a great cook, loves the kitchen enormously and her husband loves to eat what she creates in her kitchen. Part of her expertise is cooking with an array of spices, or as she states cooking spiced with love. She doesn’t use salt when she cooks, nor does she add it to her food, both her and her husband have high blood pressure. Also her mother and sister had high blood pressure, used salt excessively and developed heart disease and strokes. As a result, she seldom uses canned or processed foods due to the high sodium content. Mrs. A, has the right approach, she’s a great example and expresses the need for proper salt use, to friends, church members, and even at the hair salon.


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