Uncle Sam wants you to lay off the salt for the first time ever the U.S. Government is advising that more than half of Americans need to drastically cut our salt intake. Earlier this year a new study published suggested we need to slash our salt intake by 3 grams per day. Now the feds are jumping on board. Nancy Naeve Brown asked a registered dietitian at the Avera Heart Hospital about why too much sodium is bad for us.
If you are one of those people who grabs the salt shaker the minute your meal comes you probably know you should off the layering of salt. But the fact is that's not where we get most of our sodium. It's somewhat hidden in processed, packaged foods unless your look for it.
Joanne Shearer Registered Dietitian at the Avera Heart Hospital says, "It's listed on every label on every packaged food. We need to keep the sodium less than 200 mg per serving in packaged foods. If you can do that you will very successful at lowering your sodium intake.
So taking something that's healthy like cottage cheese can be unhealthy when it comes to sodium. A 1/2 cup serving of low fat cottage cheese has almost 500 mg of sodium, 300 mg too much.
Shearer says, "Too much salt is bad for you because it can increase your blood pressure and high blood pressure contributes to heart disease, kidney disease and heart failure."
Registered Dietitian Joanne Shearer with the Avera Heart Hospital says most of the food we order at restaurants is loaded with sodium. If you want to lower your blood pressure she says steer clear of gravy, sauces and soups and ask your waiter to ask the chef not to add any extra salt to your meal.
Shearer says, "The overall dietary guidelines say we should be limiting our sodium to 2300 mg per day. The standard American diet is between 5000 and 6000 mg a day so we are way overeating in sodium."
Joanne says fresh is always best so stick to shopping the perimeter of the grocery store, eat whole natural foods, try to exercise more and you will not only lower your blood pressure, you'll likely lengthen your longevity.
It's also important to increase your potassium. You can do that by eating more fruits and veggies.