Salt is the most dangerous ingredient in your diet, this is according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a watchdog group that argues that having an excessive amount of sodium in the diet constitute one of the most urgent threats to public health.
The stats are hard to ignore:
Averagely, an individual consumes about 2300 milligrams of salt per day, an average American consumes more than 3,500 milligrams of salt per day, the American Heart Association recommend that salt intake per day should not exceed 1500 milligrams per day.
According to The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, about 150,000 lives could be saved every year by just halving salt intake.
Furthermore, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that 120,000 cases of heart disease and 92,000 fatal cardiac events could have been prevented by a taking away a half-teaspoon of salt from the American diet.
READ ALSO: 6 Foods Making You Fart All The Time
Additionally, researchers at Harvard estimated that “excessive amount of sodium accounts for 2.3 million deaths each year around the world.”Dr. Jackson Wright who runs a hypertension program at the University Case medical centers said “We are consuming ten times as much salt than is needed for healthy living. No question, we’ve got to get the salt out of our food supply.” – We’ve got to reduce our salt intake.
Foods high in sodium you should avoid
Where is all this excessive sodium coming from? Here are five of the worst sources:
1. Processed Meats
Processed meats contain sodium nitrates, which are carcinogenic, e.g. deli cuts, cured meats, and smoked fish. Typical examples include hot dogs, turkey breast, corned beef, bacon, smoked salmon, and ham. These above listed are manufactured by adding sodium nitrite (a preservative), this is broken down by the body into compounds known as nitrosamines, which has been identified as carcinogenic by the World Health Organization. A study in the Cancer Research Institute center of Hawaii reported that people who ate the highest amounts of processed meats had 67 percent risk of developing cancer.
2. Fast food
Fast foods contain excessive sodium which causes blood pressure to rise. A combination of Hamburger, fries and a soda and you are getting 1,240 milligrams of salt intake in a single meal! That is a hefty dose of sodium to gun down consistently, it basically elevates your blood pressure and causes your kidney to work harder. This increases your risk of kidney failure, stroke, and heart disease.
3. Movie theater popcorn
The movie theater jumbo popcorn contains a whopping 1,500 milligrams of sodium.
Generally, the stuff you buy at the movie theater is called a calorie bomb. Furthermore, the jumbo popcorn apart from containing 1500 milligrams of salt, it also contains 1,100 empty calories and 60 grams of artery-clogging saturated fat as reported by consumer testing groups.
4. Packaged goods
About seventy percent of our sodium intake comes from sneaky packaged foods. Salt is a constituent of many processed foods (packaged goods, frozen dinners, salad dressings), it is added to enhance flavor (many people enjoy the taste of salt so much that they crave it) and also to serve as a preservative.
Furthermore, sodium can effectively inhibit bacteria and extend the shelf life of foods, but the quantity of sodium added during the processing phase makes these foods a risky choice. Often times, sodium is added in form of sodium phosphate, sodium ascorbate, sodium benzoate and many other variations.
This excess sodium features prominently in canned foods, cheeses, baked foods and every other kind of branded packaged food you can find.Unfortunately, about 70% of the sodium an average person consumes in everyday life comes from this sneaky form, people are oblivious to the quantity of sodium contained in commercially packaged goods we are consuming.
That is why nutritionist believed that processed foods are generally incompatible with good health.
5. Canned soups
One soup contains 1,300 milligrams of sodium.
Chicken soup is supposed to make you feel good, but when it comes to you in a can, you are probably doing yourself more harm than good. Most commercially available canned soup contains 1,300 mg of sodium. Believe me, you are better off making your soup from scratch.
Hypertension is a silent killer
Most people have no idea about their sodium intake, they have no idea about the quantity they are consuming, that is the more reason why hypertension (which is clearly linked to excessive sodium intake) is a silent killer. To cut down on your sodium intake pay attention to labels (including the menu labels at restaurants), limit the crave and consumption of the worst offenders, and ensure you stay well hydrated. Furthermore, consume lots of potassium-rich foods like bananas, winter squash, and yogurt, to help you counteract the dangers associated with sodium.