Saturday, January 11, 2014

Sodium is an important mineral

Sodium is an important mineral and electrolyte necessary for many functions in the body. Sodium is only needed in small quantities, and the kidneys are responsible for excreting extra sodium from the body. 
A small amount of sodium is naturally present in most foods, but most dietary sodium is found in processed foods in the form of salt.
Salt is added to most canned foods, some frozen vegetables, fast foods, smoked and cured meats, and pickled foods. It is used in most cheeses, sauces, soups, salad dressings and many breakfast cereals. It is also found in many other ingredients used in food processing. Many commercially prepared condiments and seasonings are also high in sodium.
Most varieties of soy sauce are salty, earthy, brownish liquids intended to season food while cooking or at the table.
Soy sauce contains very high amounts of salt.
Even most cheeses are packed with sodium.
Also peanuts sold as snacks come packed with salt, and not to forget the processed snack foods, Pickled foods.
The food industry is working to decrease sodium content in these food items.
So a quick Fact is...
A diet high in sodium may be one factor in the development of high blood pressure. Most Americans consume too much sodium.
"A diet low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure, a disease associated with many factors."
Use more fresh fruit, vegetables and meat compared to the processed foods.
For cooking use canola oil or olive oil, which contain less sodium.
Check food labels for the words salt or sodium. Salt often is used as a preservative or flavoring agent.
Do not use the salt shaker on the table.
Learn to season foods with herbs and spices rather than salt.
Always taste food to check how salted it is.

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