We’re getting back to the basics and visiting a commonly overlooked nutrient: salt.
Without it, our body goes into severe dehydration, muscles cramp and nerves shut down.
The kidneys help balance sodium levels in the body. But when you’ve had too much, the sodium flows into the bloodstream and makes the heart work harder.
This increases the risk of cardiovascular issues, ranging from high blood pressure to heart attack.
On an average day, Americans consume 3,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting daily sodium intake to no more than 2,300 mg.
Nearly every natural form of food contains sodium. Foods that seem healthy, such as turkey and cottage cheese, pack a huge sodium punch.
The main culprits are processed grocery store foods and eating out at restaurants.
To find out if you are eating too much sodium, speak with your health care provider, keep a food journal and check food nutrition labels.
Reporting on Health Matters, I’m Lyssa Hansen.