Originally published December 7 2009
Avoid the Sodium Saturation Point
by Frank Mangano
(NaturalNews) The dangers of an eating regimen that's high in sodium are well known, and given the recent report that the number of people afflicted with diabetes is set to double in the next 25 years, it's never been more important to get control of the amount of sodium in our food.
According to a recent study published in the journal Diabetes Care, the number of people with diabetes is set to double (approximately) in the next 25 years if changes are not implemented, going from 23.7 million to 44.1 million by 2034. What's worse, that rate could be even higher if obesity rates do not come down, as obesity dramatically increases the likelihood of developing diabetes.
We traditionally associate diabetics with sugar intake and their need to be watchful of how much sugar they're eating. But this report reminds us that diabetics have to be just as vigilant with their sodium intake, as sodium has a major impact on blood pressure levels.
And according to a study published in the British Medical Journal, high salt intake, perhaps the biggest indicator of whether or not someone develops high blood pressure, is directly linked to both stroke and cardiovascular disease.
That there is a direct link between sodium intake and heart complications is not breaking news; this link has been known for some time. But what may come as a surprise is that a modest cut-back in sodium consumption reaps major benefits.
According to European researchers, the amount of sodium the average Westerner consumes is about 10 grams, or two teaspoons (if you ask most health officials, this is a rather charitable assessment). But if people were to cut back their average salt consumption by a teaspoon (or five grams), their risk for stroke would drop by nearly a quarter (23 percent), and their risk for cardiovascular disease would drop by almost 20 percent!
The researchers came to these conclusions after analyzing the results of 13 separate studies that looked at the diets of 170,000 people who had suffered a stroke or who had cardiovascular disease.
If the Diabetes Care study proves to be true, this country will have a real epidemic on its hands and make our current health care crisis look like child's play (i.e., the spending on diabetes care alone will triple to over $330 billion).
Fortunately, several cities are taking this issue seriously and have passed (or are passing) laws that require restaurants to provide nutritional information to their menus. Preliminary reports indicate that people are changing their menu selections as a result.
But seeing as how legislation by its very nature moves slowly, there are things you can do right now to start cutting back on sodium. These include buying as little processed foods as possible, using flavorful, sodium-free spices more often in cooking (e.g. basil, curry, bay seeds, oregano, etc.), purposely forgetting to put the salt shaker on the table when setting it, and using low sodium condiments and sauces with sandwiches and dinner entrees. For instance, instead of mayo on your sandwich, try some horseradish spread (80 mg of sodium in one tablespoon of regular mayo; 40 mg of sodium in one tablespoon of horseradish); and instead of a buttery sauce on your protein entree, give it a citrus splash by squeezing out some fresh lemon or orange juice.
Be creative. But more than anything else, be cutting back.
About the authorFrank Mangano is an American author, health advocate, researcher and entrepreneur in the field of alternative health. He is perhaps best known for his book "The Blood Pressure Miracle," which continues to be an Amazon best selling book. Additionally, he has published numerous reports and a considerable amount of articles pertaining to natural health.
Mangano is the publisher of Natural Health On The Web, which offers readers free and valuable information on alternative remedies. To learn more visit:
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