Where is sodium found?


Most of sodium in our diets comes from salt, or sodium chloride. Sodium has many important biological functions like transmitting nerve impulses, contracting and relaxing muscle fibers and maintaining proper fluid balance. Current recommendation intakes of sodium for healthy adults are ages 19 -50 is 1.5 g or 1,500 mg of sodium; Salt equivalent of 3,800 mg, or 2/3 teaspoons the Upper limit UL of sodium intake is 2.3 g/2,300 mg or 1 tsp. of salt.
However Americans are getting as much as 3,400 mg of sodium per day on average, 77% comes from processed foods. The kidneys regulate the body’s sodium level by getting rid of any access however, when is too much excess sodium in the bloodstream our kidneys can not keep up. Unfortunately excess of sodium means less water from the cells and as this fluid increases so does blood volume and more work for the heart due to increased pressured in the blood vessels and often stiffened vessels walls, chronic high blood pressure and increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

Where is sodium found?
Choose More Often: Foods Lower in Sodium

·       Chicken and turkey (with skin removed)
·       Fresh fish or rinsed canned fish such as tuna or sardines
Pregnant and nursing mothers: Talk to your health care provider to find out the types of fish you can eat that are lower in mercury.
·       Canned foods packed in water
·       Low-sodium or reduced-sodium cheeses
·       Low-salt chips, nuts, and pretzels
·       Plain rice, noodles, or pasta
·       Homemade, low-sodium, or reduced-sodium soups
·       Fresh, frozen, “no salt added,” or rinsed canned (Rinse canned foods to reduce the sodium.) vegetables
·       Spices, herbs, and flavorings such as cilantro, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder,vinegar, and chili powder
Choose Less Often: Foods Higher in Sodium 
·       Smoked and cured meats such as bacon, ham, sausage, hotdogs, and bologna
·       Canned fish such as tuna and sardines (that are not rinsed) and salted/dried codfish (bacalao seco y salado)
Pregnant and nursing mothers: Talk to your health care provider to find out the types of fish you can eat that are lower in mercury.
·       Canned foods packed in broth or salt (Rinse canned foods to reduce the sodium)
·       Most cheeses
·       Salty chips, crackers, nuts, and pretzels
·       Quick-cooking rice and boxes of mixed rice, potatoes, or noodles
·       Regular canned and instant soups
·       Regular canned vegetables, pickles, olives, and pickled vegetables (Rinse canned goods to reduce the sodium.)
·       Condiments and seasonings such as soy sauce, ketchup, garlic salt, seasoning salt, bouillon cubes, meat tenderizer, and monosodium glutamate (MSG)
What advice would you give?  If someone has low blood pressure, can they feel free to use as much salt as they like?

 The amount of salt we eat has a direct effect on our blood pressure the more salt, the higher our blood pressure will be. This is true not only in people with high blood pressure (hypertension), but also in people with normal blood pressure. While it may be tempting for people to think they don’t have to worry unless they have been diagnosed with hypertension, having normal blood pressure now doesn’t mean you don’t have to protect against developing a problem in the future. 
People with low blood pressure Hypotension should not eat as much salt as they want. In most healthy adults low blood pressure does not cause problems or symptoms, and in fact could be consider normal.
The risk of high blood pressure increases as we age and, it is a condition that most people will have at some point in their lives. Also, a high sodium intake causes other health damage such as greater retention of water in your body, which leads to swelling of the ankles and weight gain. Therefore, almost everyone should cut the amount of salt they eat to improve their health. Most processed foods are high on sodium I would stay away form all processed foods and add a diet rich on vegetables and fruits.
1. NIH. Sodium Intake and Health Outcomes. Website. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK201520/ Accessed on November 7, 2017.

2. NIH. Sodium in Foods. Website
https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-pro/resources/heart/hispanic-health-manual/session-4/sodium-foods Accessed on November 7, 2017.

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