01 09 10 Tweet Dietitians Eat Chocolate Too: Sionara Sodium

Friday, January 9, 2009

Sionara Sodium

Oh, salt. The tasty mineral is snuck into the most random of foods you may have thought were "healthy".

Salt is necessary for your body to function. To keep this from sounding like a text book, salt is basically one of those little electrolytes that hang out with potassium (K), calcium (Ca+), magnesium (Mg), etc. in the body's cells and fluids surrounding the cells...if you think back to a high school biology class (assuming you weren't sleeping through it or passing notes) all these little electrolyte friends hung out in or out of the cell.

That is as deep as we will get on cellular biology.

But most Americans eat around 4 grams which is more than the recommended amount-- 2,300 mg if you're reading labels.

Here are some hidden places where sodium may be lurking:

More obvious places where the salt is:

  • Canned/pickled goods
  • frozen foods
  • anything dried
  • Restaurant food (esp. Chinese take out--MSG being the culprit)

It takes around two weeks to kick the salt habit. So drop the shaker and check out the American Heart Association's site for some great healthy alternatives.