I was quite upset the other day when I was eating my grilled chicken with my "favorite" Jamaican Jerk seasoning from McCormick! I kept tasting salt! How can that be...its just spices! Ah...NO! I went to McCormick's web site and looked up my favorite spice, and low and behold...it has 120mg of sodium in who knows how much spice! Man I was mad! I threw it out and bought every Mrs. Dash I could find! I also found a Fajita seasonings, salt free, at McGinnis Sisters. I sprinkled it on my turkey burger tonight...Yum!
I want to share some information about sodium...
Sodium is essential in small amounts, Your body needs some to function properly.
- Helps maintain the right balance of fluids in your body
- Helps transmit nerve impulses
- Influences the contraction and relaxation of muscles
Your kidneys regulate the amount of sodium kept in your body. When sodium levels are low, your kidneys conserve sodium. When levels are high, they excrete the excess amount in urine.
If your kidneys can't eliminate enough sodium, the sodium starts to accumulate in your blood. Because sodium attracts and holds water, you blood volume increases. Increased blood volume, in turn, makes your heart work harder to move more blood through your blood vessels, increasing pressure in your arteries. Certain diseases such as congestive heart failure, cirrhosis and chronic kidney disease can lead to an inability to regulate sodium.
How much sodium do you need?
Most organizations recommend not exceeding the range of 1500 and 2400 milligrams a day for healthy adults.
Three main sources of sodium.
- Processed and prepared foods. Canned vegetables, soups, lunch meats, and frozen foods. Manufacturers use salt or other sodium containing compounds to preserve food and to improve the taste.
- Sodium containing condiments. One teaspoon of table salt has 2325mg of sodium, and one tablespoon of soy sauce has about 900-1000mg of sodium.
- Natural sources of sodium. Sodium naturally occurs in some foods, such as meat, poultry, dairy products and vegetables.
How to cut Sodium.
- Eat more fresh foods and fewer processed foods.
- Opt for low-sodium products.
- Remove salt from recipes whenever possible.
- Limit your use of sodium laden condiments.
- Use herbs, spices and other flavorings to enhance flavor.
- use salt substitutes wisely.
Other information I found while I was researching sodium:
- Salt increases appetite! Salty foods increase salivation and gastric acidity, which in turn increases your appetite.
- 2 teaspoons of salt are enough to retain 2-4 pounds of water in your body's tissues for a day or two. Unless you keep consuming sodium every day, then it stays! Think before you gobble down those chips, salted nuts, or pizza! Not to mention those cans of Red Bull or Monsters that some kids are consuming at alarming rates!
Take care of yourself and your family. Lets try to stick around to see our grand kids grow up! Put the salt DOWN!!!
~Peter A. Cohen