The Goddess Weighs In

Living Large and Healthy

Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na Sodium!

on June 5, 2014

Before I left on vacation I had an appointment with a nephrologist who altered one of my medications and who gave me some pamphlets with easy to follow guidelines regarding sodium.  I knew to cut out packaged foods and obviously salty foods like french fries and potato chips, but beyond that I didn’t really know how to tell what was “good” and what was “bad” for me in terms of my sodium intake.

It turns out that a sodium content that is 5% or less of your daily value is low and anything 15% or higher is high.  She also asked if I liked canned tomatoes.  It was like she knew they are staple in my home.  Alas one of my favourite foods must become an occasional treat, just like the pickled vegetables I love and my hot sauce.

While I was away I watched my levels as best I could when you consider we ate out more than usual and we had a few treats, but cutting back on sodium has helped my general state of well being and now that I am home I am reading my labels more carefully and many foods that I would have thought were low or at least on the low side are surprisingly high in sodium.  For instance tortillas or “wraps” are loaded with sodium, salsa, and well nearly anything packaged in a jar seems to be loaded with sodium, though with a little careful snooping one can find some healthier choices.

My issues with sodium are tied directly to my issues with high blood pressure at least for now, but while I was away I happened to catch an episode of Dr. Oz and he did a segment on how sodium can attack the lining of the stomach and may create an environment that encourages cancer growth.  I couldn’t find a clip of the show, but I did find some links that support what he was talking about and it goes beyond cancer and blood pressure including health concerns like ulcers, hardening of the arteries and even heart failure in some people.

We need some sodium in our diet in order for our bodies to work properly, but obviously too much sodium is an issue for us all.

– the Goddess

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