CDC warns Americans to watch their sodium intake

A latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 9 out of 10 Americans consume more sodium per day than recommended. The U.S Dietary Guidelines suggest that an individual should consume not more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. But, 9 out of 10 Americans on an average consume 3,300 milligrams. This does not even include the salt added at the table.

In their monthly report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have named 10 foods that alone contribute to about 40 percent of the sodium intake. These can be easily found in restaurants and grocery stores and are a part of our usual diet. Cheeseburgers, rolls, breads, pizzas, luncheon meat and soups are high on the list. Our favourite snacks like popcorn, pretzels and potato chips sneak way more sodium in to our system than we think they do.

It’s important that we pay attention to our sodium intake because excessive sodium intake on an average leads to many health disorders. Too much sodium is said to induce high blood pressure which increases the chances of heart disease and stroke. The core of the problem lies in the fact that our sodium consumption directly affects our kidneys. Kidneys work on removing the excess sodium from our system. As we grow older, our kidneys begin to slow down. This makes them less tolerant of high levels of sodium.

Pregnant women need to pay attention to this more than anyone else. Since, their kidneys are already doing additional work to support their pregnancy; they should not be burdened with high sodium levels.

The good news is that, reducing the sodium content in those above mentioned foods would drastically take down the sodium intake of the people by 10%. This could prove extremely difficult to practise since the American frozen and processed food industry depends so much on salt for taste.

CDC hasn’t given up all hope, though. The center is working on encouraging people to eat more fruits and veggies instead of processed foods. Also recently, some of the manufacturers have started taking steps towards reducing the sodium content in their products. We can only hope that many other manufactures follow in their footsteps.

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