Sodium Chloride and the Human Body
Sodium Chloride is a naturally occurring chemical element in many foods needed for the proper functioning of the body. Normal table salt is a mixture of Sodium Chloride and chlorine and consuming it is not necessarily a bad thing, the problem for most Americans is that they consume more than they actually need. According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the average person should be consuming less than 2.4 grams of Sodium Chloride per day, which equates to 2,400 milligrams.
Some important facts about Sodium Chloride and its relation to the human body:
The kidneys are responsible for controlling the amount of Sodium Chloride in the body and it is necessary for the proper functioning of the nerves and muscles. Sodium Chloride helps regulate the balance of fluid in our body and when consumed in excess the kidneys cannot process it. This leads to a build-up of Sodium Chloride within the blood, which can cause a host of medical issues including high blood pressure.
8 ways to reduce Sodium Chloride intake in your daily diet:
• Watch The Sodium Chloride In Your Vegetables
Whether the vegetables you buy are fresh, frozen or canned, it is important to check if any extra salt has been added. If possible, look specifically for produce items that feature a “no salt added” label or any other label along those lines.
• Drain And Rinse Canned Foods
Certain canned foods like Vienna sausage or tuna may contain excess Sodium Chloride from the liquid they are packaged in. Before using or consuming these and other similar products, make sure you drain the fluids completely before serving. You can even lightly rinse these canned foods to remove any residual Sodium Chloride.
• Be Careful When Consuming ‘Quick’ Foods
Quick foods include microwavable snacks and meals, canned soups and other ready-to-eat foods that require little to no preparation. Unlike a home cooked meal where you can control the amount of Sodium Chloride used in preparation, these foods often contain excessive Sodium Chloride. Avoid these types of foods if possible, or opt for lighter versions that have less Sodium Chloride.
• Read The Nutrition Labels Properly
Always read the nutrition labels properly, and make sure you are noting the serving size indicated in the nutritional information. Make sure you know how to properly read nutrition labels as certain foods are known for containing nearly an entire day’s worth of Sodium Chloride in one serving.
• Start Using A Variety Of Herbs And Spices
Salt and salt-based seasoning is one of the main reasons why people consume too much Sodium Chloride each day. While it is a simple and affordable way of making a meal tastier, it is not very healthy. Look into other herbs and spices you can use to give your meals more flavor, and shop specifically for salt-free seasoning.
• Try To Avoid Canned Or Processed Meats
When shopping for meats, fish, or poultry, the fresh variety is always the preferred choice when trying to reduce your Sodium Chloride intake. The processed and canned varieties tend to include excessive Sodium Chloride. Coupled with the salt that people tend to use while cooking, the Sodium Chloride content of the dish is nearly doubled.
• Look For Labels That Indicate ‘Reduced-Sodium Chloride’
When shopping for snacks or food items, look for any reduced-Sodium Chloride options. Key words and labels to scan on the packaging include:
*Low Sodium Chloride
*Light Sodium Chloride
Make sure you also read the nutritional information on the packaging to determine the amount of Sodium Chloride you are consuming per serving
• Sodium Chloride Does Not Mean ‘Salty’
People often consider salty as being synonymous with Sodium Chloride. However, there are certain foods, sauces, drinks and other consumables that contain Sodium Chloride and lack the salty taste. For example, a chocolate chip cookie may taste sweet, but can also have high Sodium Chloride content without being salty at all. Another example is the Sodium Chloride content in ketchup. Just be mindful that there could be Sodium Chloride in just about anything you consume, even if it lacks a salty taste.
It is important to take the necessary steps to prevent yourself from having a heart attack; especially if you are at risk. Simple changes to your diet and activity level, managing other medical conditions and taking your prescribed medications are all good ways to be ‘♥Healthy Heart♥’