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article imageU.S. adults still consuming too much sodium

By Tim Sandle     Jul 6, 2015 in Health
Bethesda - Despite several health warnings and a heap of information, it seems that adults in the U.S. are still consuming too much salt, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC’s survey found that 90 percent of adults in the U.S. admit to regularly exceeding the recommended daily levels of sodium. The findings are based on a telephone survey conducted in 2013. Here some 180,000 adults, in 26 states, were polled.
U.S. citizens consume an average, per person, of about 3,300 milligrams of sodium per day, about 75 percent is estimated to come from processed foods. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration states that the typical person should consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day (this is about a teaspoon of table salt).
The survey does have some encouraging news. Although many adults admit to consuming too much sodium, many are aware of the risk factors and are willing to cut down their consumption. Moreover, most of those adults with medically diagnosed hypertension are actively working to lower their salt intake. High blood pressure (hypertension) is a major risk for cardiovascular diseases, particularly heart attack and stroke.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), reducing sodium intake lowers blood pressure in adults. Sodium is found in table salt and also naturally in many foods, such as milk, cream, eggs, meat and shellfish. Sodium is additionally found in processed foods, including breads, crackers, processed meats and snack foods.
If too much sodium is consumed, the body’s kidneys have difficulty in processing it. This means the body retains water in order to dilute the sodium. This, in turn, leads to a build-up of fluid surrounding cells and as a consequence the volume of blood in veins and arteries rises. Here the heart has to work harder as the pressure in the blood vessels is greater. High blood pressure affects the cardiovascular system in an adverse way.
Strategies for reducing sodium intake include eating more fresh vegetables and fruits (these are naturally high in potassium and low in sodium) and consuming less bread, cheese, and processed meat. High potassium intake helps to relax blood vessels and it also helps the body to excrete the sodium and lower blood pressure
More about Sodium, Salt, Hypertension
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