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Reduce Sodium for Heart Health

Posted on 02/19/2013

February is National Heart Month and what a better time than now to discuss ways to reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Top of the list to improve one's heart health is consuming less sodium.

Too much sodium raises a person's risk for developing high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and other vascular diseases. Government estimates show 90 percent of Americans exceed the daily recommendation for it. And, new research shows that by reducing sodium intake to the recommended daily allotment or more could prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths each year!

One of the study's researchers said, "No matter how we look at it, the story is the same -- there will be huge benefits in reducing sodium."

On average Americans consume about 3,600 milligrams of sodium each day, mostly from table salt, which is found primarily in processed and packaged foods. According to the American Heart Association, the top six sources (or "Salty Six" as they call it) are bread and rolls, cold cuts and cured meats, pizza, poultry, soup and sandwiches. 

The government recommends a limit of 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day and 1,500 milligrams per day for those who are 51 years and older. However, the American Heart Association recommends a 1,500 milligrams each day limit.

I'm proud that our meals are sodium restricted, our 1,200-calorie meal plan contains 1,488 milligrams while our 2,000-calorie plan contains 2,273 milligrams.

My advice is to read food labels, eat as much "whole foods" as possible every day, do not add salt in recipes or at the table and watch out for the "Salty Six."

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The Slim Down Contestants are doing GREAT! In 6 weeks they have lost a total of 265 pounds. Only 9 more weeks to go until we announce the winner of this year's Peoria Slim Down. Next week I'll provide an update on the top weight loss so far according to percentage of body weight lost.

Be sure to check back here next week for the latest in contest results. For more information visit seattlesutton.com. You can also find us on Facebook: facebook.com/SeattleSuttons and follow us on Twitter: Twitter.com/SeattleSutton. 

post-author

Seattle Sutton, BSN, RN

She made healthy eating her mission in life long before anyone else did, in hopes of helping her own obese father. A registered nurse by training and entrepreneur at heart, she lives, eats and breathes everything about healthy eating and helping to improve people’s eating habits and overall health. She enjoys never having to bother with grocery shopping, cooking and counting calories. Her favorite SSHE meal, although it’s hard to pick just one, is the Potato Gnocchi with Basil Pesto Sauce.

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