Killing Me Slowly

By: Jeremy J.

What is my favorite food?  I am not extremely picky but I also am not too adventurous either.  I don’t have just one favorite food group so my top three culinary enjoyments are Mexican, Sushi and Italian.  But, Chinese food is also a tie for third. In all transparency, I do not eat the way I used to. I have been watching my sodium intake diligently since 2006, but earlier this year I was diagnosed with high blood pressure.  I do not drink alcohol, smoke and rarely eat out (perhaps once a week, unless I am on vacation or guests are in town), so this startling revelation was disturbing.  

It led me down a rabbit hole of extensive research on the subject.  I discovered that according to a 2014 article in the New England Journal of Medicine, salt intake is at an all-time high, with Americans consuming around 3,300 milligrams of sodium a day, over double what is the recommended daily allotment.  For the last seven months I have read so many nutritional labels on products at the grocery store and the rarely produced nutritional menus at restaurants (most don’t have any!) and am shocked by what I have discovered. Salt is being dumped into food by the gallons.  It is a ticking time bomb. 

A high sodium diet can lead to many health complications such as strokes and heart attacks which can happen at any age and is not just an old person problem.  Also, all salts are not created equal. Table salt is the worst, (if you see “salt” on any product labels or in nutritional information, run for the hills) while some salts are fine to consume like sea salt and Himalayan salt in moderation. The American Heart Association recommends, “…no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day and moving toward an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults.”  I encourage you to limit your daily sodium intake and do some research of your own. What is your favorite food? Do you care about sodium enough to start paying attention to what goes into your food and ultimately your body? 

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