Are you one of those people with normal blood pressure who thinks they do not have to be concerned about sodium intake? I was that person and the salt shaker was definitely my friend. I have long since reduced salt intake significantly after learning that excess sodium interferes with the natural ability of blood vessels to relax and expand which increases blood pressure and puts you at greater risk of a Stroke or Heart Attack. Sodium also contributes to the risk of many diseases such as Diabetes, some Cancers, Kidney Disease and Osteoarthritis to name a few.
While sodium is essential to our bodies, we only need about 1500 mg (3/4 of tsp) of salt per day and a very healthy person could take in as much as 2200 mg but Canadians are consuming on average 3400 mg per day (about 1 1/2 tsp).
Where does all this salt come from?
The main sources are;
Processed food like canned soup and vegetables, cheese, crackers, bread, processed meat, frozen dinners and prepackaged pasta and rice are a few examples.
Fast Food but even dining out in high end restaurants can be equally sodium filled.
How much sodium is in the fast food Canadians are eating?
I compiled a few fast food items with their sodium content that might be considered “healthy” options because I know everyone reading this is already trying to make healthy food choices ;-). Keep in mind 1500 mg is what we need in a day.
Pizza Pizza Garden Veggie, Classic Dough pizza slice 1110 mg
Tim Hortons Turkey and Wild Rice Soup 960 mg
Harveys Health Check TM Grilled Veggie Burger Combo 930 mg
Subway 6″ Turkey Breast Sub with 9-grain wheat bread, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green peppers and cucumbers (note: no cheese) 810 mg
KFC Grilled Chicken Breast no fries, bun or condiments 730 mg
McDonalds Spicy Thai Chicken Salad with Grilled Chicken no dressing 520 mg
I deliberately did not include the many fast food items that contained over 2000 mg of sodium however this item really caught my eye and I had to share; a large size side order of French Fries at KFC has 1530 calories and 3480 mg of sodium…WOW!!
The list above makes it is easy to see how we can reach 3400 mg in a day.
What is your salty pleasure?
Would you like to reduce your sodium intake? Watch for part 2 next week!
Live longer, live healthier…have a heart and look after your heart!