Now that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the USDA announced the new sodium guidelines for adults on January 7, 2016, specifying adults should consume less than 2300 mg of sodium per day–we know changes are in the air, after 70 years of attempting to educate the public about the hazards of excess sodium.

The truth is–most adult Americans consume north of 3440 mg of sodium in one day, which is nearly 50 percent higher than the Dietary Guidelines recommend.

But people have stubbornly refused to heed the health warnings about using excessive sodium, until they have health problems or become aware that high sodium levels impacts their sex life.

Of course, we have all heard too much sodium produces high blood pressure, but because high blood pressure has no signs or symptoms, many of us are ignorant of how we are impacting our life-long health by consuming too much sodium.

So, does ingesting too much sodium really matter?

Facts:

  • If you are in your 20’s and you don’t watch your sodium intake, there is nearly 100% chance you will develop high blood pressure by your 70’s or 80’s according to the American Heart Association.
  • Sodium helps maintain fluid level in the body. But if the kidneys aren’t releasing the excess sodium, it will bond to water and increase the total amount of blood in the body
  • Over time, this increased blood supply causes the heart to pump more blood through the body, triggering high blood pressure and building up plaque, which is the precursor to heart disease, stroke, heart failure and death.
  • What is lesser known fact,  limited blood flow impacts your sex life, because high blood pressure can interfere with erections, often referred to as erectile dysfunction. This link between high blood pressure is proved in men; however, for women who have decreased sexual satisfaction, it is not yet proved that high blood pressure is a link. However, reduced blood flow to the vagina can have debilitating consequences.

Yes, Virginia. High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and compromised sexual function do matter, even if it’s a warning about your future health. The truth is:

  • What you do with your health today, impacts the rest of your life!
  • Americans of all ages overindulge in sodium–proven fact.
  • There are grave consequences for lifestyle decisions you make today
  • Living with a deadly disease isn’t for sissies–ill health limits your options and negatively rules your life–it’s expensive, heartbreaking, and anxiety provoking.

Start changing your diet–today by taking these initial steps to impact your health:

  1. Read labels.

Even if you are a food Nazi, you can be eating too much sodium without knowing it!

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but  recently and much to my chagrin, I opened a can of organic tomato soup to make my husband’s favorite comfort-food lunch.(I should have read the label in the store first, because I hadn’t purchased it before; but because it’s a popular natural foods brand I trust, I didn’t take time to read it.)

Each soup serving contained 340 mg of sodium. But because one serving filled only one-half-a-coffee-cup, I gave him the entire can for a whopping total sodium count of 680 mg. I should have stopped there, but I continued to make the grilled cheese sandwich without adding up the sodium content in the sandwich.  Here’s the math:

  • soup        680 mg.
  • cheese     174 mg sodium per slice cheddar (2 slices 348 mg sodium)
  • French bread   328 mg sodium per slice (656 mg. sodium)
  • mayo       1 tbsp. =   15 mg sodium
  • butter      1 tbsp. = 92 mg   (2 slices bread 184 mg. sodium)

total sodium: 1883 mg. sodium is 80% of the suggested daily amount of sodium just for lunch! Ouch. So bottom line: read labels and do the math so you know exactly how much sodium you are consuming.

  1. Eliminate processed foods from your diet: Shop the outside isles of the grocery store and totally avoid the freezer and canned sections.Eat Less Salt

Added sodium from commercial processing and preparation is the main source of excess sodium in the diet. This includes restaurants and manufacturers who use high levels of sodium to season foods.

Sodium makes food tasty. In fact, a 2011 Australian study found that the brain responds to sodium similar to how it does for substances such as heroin, cocaine, and nicotine, which may explain why so many of us tend to overindulge in high-sodium foods.

The FDA is developing food labeling requirements for chain restaurants; however sodium disclosure is not a current requirement. However, many cities and states are developing labeling requirements for sodium to be disclosed.

Therefore, buying fresh or fresh frozen foods and vegetables, instead of canned or processed foods, is a key step in reducing the sodium levels in the diet.

  1. Cook more meals at home . . . use Engage Organics Salt-free Seasonings instead of salt to protect health.

When you prepare your own meals with salt-free seasonings, you CONTROL the amount of sodium in your diet.

  • Focus on eating less foods that come from animals
  • Arrange your plate with colorful food, this is a good gauge for how healthy your meal is
  • Shake pre-blended seasonings instead of salt into your foods on the stove or at the table.
  • Replace salt and season with a shake or two of Garlicsaltless in eggs, vegetables, chicken, fish, grains, tofu, beef, salads, potatoes and breads. It makes everything you cook taste better.
  • Shake Original or Seed-free All-Purpose instead of salt into salads at the table.
  • Sprinkle Hot Go-Grill-A-Rub or It’s-A-Dilly on popcorn or on homemade baked French fries.
  • Be creative. Just a shake or two gives your body antioxidant benefits and enhanced flavor –there is no need for salt when Engage Organics is in the cupboard!

You won’t be depriving yourself with these simple changes, according American Heart Association’s Committee Chair, Rachel Johnson, Ph.D. MPH, RD, FAHA who reminds us that “Studies show that when people are given a lower sodium diet for a period of time, they begin to prefer lower-sodium foods and the foods they used to enjoy taste too salty.”Logo - Do your heart a flavor

Engage Organics is the flavorful solution for reducing sodium below 2300 mg levels per day because your health depends upon it . . .