It's a safe bet that most people consume more salt than they realize. It's sneaked into processed foods, fast food, and sit-in restaurant meals- all of which are likely consumed on at least a semi-regular basis by the average person. If you're unsure how much salt is safe to consume to maintain a safe sodium level, keep reading.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average person should only consume just under 2.3 grams, or 2300 milligrams of salt per day. Some may believe that's still a lot, but some sodium is important to have. That's because sodium is a micronutrient that's essential to the human body. It helps process fluid balance, controls blood pressure, and supports nerve function- all of which are bodily functions that are essential to survive.
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While a certain amount of sodium is important, too much of it can wreak some serious havoc. It can make a person bloated or puffy, but that's just the beginning. If a person consumes too much sodium over a long period of time, their blood pressure will rise, negatively affecting both their heart and their kidneys. That can cause heart disease or other heart-related problems. Not to mention the fact that eating lots of high-sodium foods can lead to gaining weight.
If you find yourself consuming too much sodium on a regular basis, you might be unsure as to how to cut back effectively. But it's actually not a hard thing to accomplish. Health experts suggest reducing your intake of processed foods in favor of natural whole foods. Taking the extra step in cooking your own meals instead of relying on take-out- even healthier versions of take-out- means that you can control the amount of sodium that you're consuming.
The most important point to remember is that cutting sodium out of your life completely is not just impossible, but also not a healthy thing to do. You still need a good amount of sodium consumption on a daily basis for the sake of your body. Just remember to have it in a smaller amount so you can stay healthy and lose (or maintain) weight.
Of course, talk to your doctor to determine the appropriate amount of sodium for your diet and lifestyle.