Salty Drink and Food Crime Partners

What you should know?

(The Commercial Appeal) A majority of medical experts say that too much salt increases blood pressure. As we age, excess salt and high blood pressure can catch up with us. High blood pressure is a leading cause of heart, stroke and kidney conditions.

As much as 80 percent of the salt we eat is hidden in purchased foods and drinks. Many do not taste salty. They include bread, bagels, pizza, dressings, cottage cheese, breakfast bars, canned tuna, sweets, and pasta like mac and cheese.

Other foods are obviously salty — many pork varieties, soups and snacks like chips, popcorn, pickles and pretzels.

What we drink is often linked to what we eat. Many of us prefer sugary sodas, colas and beers with salty foods like pizza, hot dogs, fried chicken and chips. Thus, cutting out salty foods might also reduce obesity from excess intake of high-calorie beverages. Water, tea and skim milk often go better with steamed vegetables and baked fish or poultry.

Many children and young adults suffer from conditions that used to be considered signs of aging. These include high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. Salty foods and excess liquid calories could be culprits in their health problems.

A high-salt diet can cause fluid retention and increased urination. Too much table salt can contribute to a calcium loss through urine that can weaken bones (osteoporosis.)

Most of us need less than a half-teaspoon of table salt daily to maintain our health.

A study showed that many people can drop their blood pressure as much as 5 points (systolic top reading) and 3 points (diastolic) by cutting about three-fourths teaspoon of salt daily. The low-salt, low-fat diet DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) has helped many people reduce hypertension, especially if they also exercise.

Our taste buds can become deadened by the overuse of salt. Without salt, food initially can seem bland unless it is seasoned well or seared or roasted to retain flavor. Eventually, our taste buds become more sensitive to salt and we crave less of it. Ultimately, the flavors of natural foods will seem more intense, and salty foods may seem too salty.

Natural ways to prevent and reduce hypertension are the wisest choices: a low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar diet with regular exercise and reduced stress.

What you should do?…Learn more.


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