Set Down That Salt Shaker

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says about 90% of U.S. school children consume too much sodium each day. It may come as a surprise that only 10 common foods contribute 40% of the sodium eaten by children. Check out the great resources and infographics to help your family be sodium wise. Remember, healthy…

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Sodium and Your Arteries

Arteries tend to stiffen after age 30 and can increase risk of heart attack, stroke and memory loss because they can’t dilate (widen) when increased blood volume is necessary. Australian researchers studied 25 overweight or obese subjects with normal blood pressure and found those on a diet with lower sodium levels (2600 mg/day) had arteries that…

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Salt Reduction Makes an Impact in the U.K.

Between 2003 and 2011 stroke deaths in the U.K. decreased 42% (P<0.001) and ischemic heart disease fell by 40% (P<0.001). During the same time salt intake decreased by 1.4 g/day (P<0.01) measured by 24-hour urinary sodium. The findings of this 8-year study appear to support a key role for lower salt intake. Despite this progress,…

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Hospital Meals Exceed Sodium Recommendations

Canadian researchers have discovered that hospital food may not be as healthy as it should be--at least in sodium. They sampled standard hospital menus in which patients did not pick their own choices, and found that 100% exceeded the adequate daily intake of 1500 mg of sodium per day. Even worse, 86% of the meals exceeded…

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Too Much Sodium in Common Foods

The majority of sodium we eat comes from processed foods and those prepared in restaurants. More than 40% comes from 10 types of food: breads, cold cuts and cured meats, pizza, poultry, soups, sandwiches, cheese, pasta dishes (not including macaroni and cheese), mixed meat dishes and salty snacks. The amount of sodium varies from one…

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Up with Potassium, Down with Sodium

Sodium chloride and potassium chloride are both simple salts but they have profoundly different effects in the body. In the blood stream, sodium is high (135 mg/dl) and potassium is low (4 mg/dl) but the opposite is true inside cells where potassium is high and sodium is low.Both sodium and potassium are diet essentials, but…

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Blood Pressure and those Sugary Drinks

Sugar-sweetened sodas and fruit juice may increase blood pressure according to British researchers who looked at 2,696 U.S. and U.K. participants. For each additional sugary beverage per day systolic blood pressure rose 1.6 mmHg and diastolic by 0.8 mmHg (p<0.001 for both). Perhaps these "empty calories" are displacing calories from the nutrient dense foods like fruits,…

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The War on Salt Heats Up

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate the amount of sodium added to foods.A new IOM report has concluded that public health and education programs have failed to cut American's salt intake, and therefore the FDA should incrementally cut down the sodium content of the food…

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Hold the Salt to Lower Health Care Costs!

Dietary salt intake in the U.S. in on the rise, in spite of more and more evidence linking salt intake to hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Reducing salt intake by a modest 3 grams (1/2 teaspoon) per day per person is projected to annually reduce new cases of coronary heart disease by up to 120,000, stroke…

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Sodium Restriction Helps Resistant Hypertension

Resistant hypertension--elevated high blood pressure despite the use of three or more antihypetensive medications--is fairly common, and frustrating to both patient and physician. A small, randomized crossover trial of 12 such patents has demonstrated the effectiveness of a low-sodium diet. The low sodium diet had only 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the high sodium diet…

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