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Is SALT a threat to Healthy Living in the Poconos ?

The Assault on SALT – Is is Justified ?

East Stroudsburg, PA  2012       There’s been lots of talk lately about the dangers of consuming too much SALT.  You may be wondering what it’s all about and what steps, if any you should take to reduce your consumption of this popular food enhancer.

In general – you should always look for balance in your life – and that includes moderation in eating habits.  Eating out every night is not a great eating plan, nor is adding extra salt to your food, or having a bowl of ice cream each evening.  Equally important is educating your self – especially in terms of reading food labels, and understanding portion sizes.  Following a smart and balanced approach will help you avoid most of the dietary dangers of Salt.

The Shake Down on Salt

The human body requires just 500mg of sodium per day, and to put that into perspective, one teaspoon of salt equals 2,300mg.  Americans are consuming, on average, between 2,000 – 6,500 mg of sodium per day.  According to U.S. dietary guidelines, individuals should ingest Less than 2,300mg of sodium per day and if over age 51, or suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic kidney disease or an African American, consumption should be less than 1,500mg per day.

The danger of salt, lies in the fact that it is already contained, naturally in most of our foods – meat, vegetables, shell fish and dairy, and we just add more along the way.  In addition, sodium is also contained in many other foods with which we would not normally associate salt.  For instance, one cup of low fat milk contains 107mg of sodium, and a slice of whole-wheat bread contains about 130mg of sodium, so you cannot always rely on your taste buds to control your salt intake.  Finally, the highest concentration of salt-filled foods include those in categories such as;  processed foods, pizza, cold cuts, soups, juices, prepared dinners, fast foods and condiments.

Surprising Examples of Sodium Content in Food

¾ cup Oatmeal                                       2 mg

1 cup coffee or tea                                 5 mg

½ Cup Vanilla Ice Cream                   50 mg

1 cup cola                                                  55 mg

1 cup of Club Soda                                 75 mg

½ cup Rice Pudding                             90 mg

1 Catsup Packet                                      100 mg

McD’s small French Fries                   140 mg

1 small English Muffin                          400 mg

1 Slice Apple Pie                                     400 mg

½ cup low fat Cottage Cheese           450 mg

1 cup of Tomato Juice                          650 mg

Chicken Chow Mein                               750 mg

1-2 oz Dill Pickles                                    850 mg

1 Cheese & Beef Enchilada                  1,250 mg

1 cup of Chicken Noodle Soup           1,250 mg

Subway 6” Meatball Sub                      1,550 mg

Sonic Extra Long Cheese Coney        1,648 mg

McD’sGrilled Chicken Club Sand       1,690 mg

Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pepperoni    1,760 mg

Wendy’s Classic Single                            1,800 mg

2 small links of Pork Sausage                2,059 mg

So, what can you do to reduce your salt consumption?  First, limit the addition of extra salt to foods, whether eating out or at home, which can be in the form of table salt or condiments.  Become aware of what you are ingesting by reading food labels, so you know how much sodium is already in your diet.  Remove and replace salt in recipes when possible substituting herbs and natural citrus flavorings instead.

 

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