Learn how a reduction in dietary sodium not only decreases blood pressure hypertension but is also associated with a reduction of cardiovascular diseases.
A modest decrease in salt - diet intake induces a healthy fall in blood pressure in both hypertensive and/or normotensive individuals, regardless of sex and ethnic group, the high sodium intake present in the standard American diet has a tremendous effect in the increase in blood pressure levels, as such, the consequences are:
Recent studies have shown that a modest reduction in salt intake for four or more weeks causes a significant fall in blood pressure, however, the current health policies have not reached an effective achievement for the reduction of dietary sodium in the population and the positive effects of reduced sodium intake.
“Excessive sodium consumption (defined by the World Health Organization) is established as 4 grams of sodium per day”
Therefore a reduction by half of 2 grams of sodium per day is the general recommendation for a normal healthy adult, on the side note, special populations like athletes can have higher intakes, not only of sodium but also more water, glucose and other electrolytes in order to promote balance, especially when they sweat a lot.
To the general population and kids, excessive salt intake for a prolonged time may induce more several adverse effects, like inflammation, anatomic remodeling, and functional abnormalities.
Nutritional labels, as a tool to manage your salt intake
As a consumer, one excellent strategy you can do is to read the nutritional label of the products you buy, the sodium (salt) content in the merchandise you acquire can tell you a lot about its nutritional profile, and also you can monitor your overall salt intake.
Do as follow, look for the words in bold on the nutritional label, sodium is in bold and more often than not you can find it below the “cholesterol” line, right next to the sodium a unit of measurement must be displayed:
|Cholesterol 0mg 0%|
Sodium 45mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
As you can see by the image, there is also a percentage measurement on the far right, this percentage is related to the 2 grams recommendation by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the general population.
What you can do now is to keep in mind the next pointers we are going to provide you, so the next time you buy a product you can identify very quickly if its right for you.
•From 1 to 5% of sodium (GREEN LIGHT)
•From 6 to 10 % (YELLOW LIGHT)
•Above 11% (RED LIGHT)
A green light indicates a very low sodium content, meaning the addition of additives and artificial flavors are non-existing, you can rest assured that in this range of percentage is all-natural.
The yellow light indicates a relative amount of sodium, meaning that an “extra addition” of salt was required, and/or more ingredients that were not specified were added.
The red light indicates very high levels of sodium, meaning that additives, artificial flavors were added for sure, even more, the high content of sodium indicates the presence of food preservatives like Nitrites that are related to gastric cancer.