02 November 2009

The Salt Situation, Pt. II

So should you still worry about salt?

Well... Yes.

The amount of sodium in your kidneys is ultimately related to the amount that you eat, though it probably only causes problems when your carbohydrate intake is high as I described in the previous post.

However, there is a common misconception that to reduce your sodium intake, you can simply quit putting salt on your food when it gets to the table. This can reduce your intake, but most people are surprised to learn that only about 20% of our sodium comes from the salt shaker.

Then where does all that sodium come from?

I'm glad you asked. About 80% of our salt intake comes from the processed foods we eat everyday. Crackers, breads, chips, deli meats, baked goods, canned soups and vegetables, cheeses, frozen dinners, restaurant meals, and pickled foods all contribute a terribly high amount of sodium to our diet.

I'll admit that I'm a sea salt fanatic. I put a pinch in my eggs in the morning, in my homemade salad dressings, and on my grilled chicken, but I spend very little time worrying about having too much salt in my diet since I rarely ever consume processed food products.

If there's a single thread that ties all of my posts together, it is to avoid processed foods. Here again, if we avoid processed foods, we also avoid high sodium foods and high carbohydrate foods. Not only does this reduce the risk of hypertension, but also obesity, diabetes, and others.

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