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The Dangers of Salt

Do you or someone you know put salt on everything they eat, or even adds it to their drinks?  Salt. 

Sodium.  Rock Salt.  Pink Salt.  Sea Salt. 

Na. Atom #11.   No matter what you call it, we should all be aware of salt & the copious amounts of it that we put into our bodies.  You might be saying to yourself, “Salt flavors food. It preserves meats. It makes my food taste great. It balances fluid levels & muscle functions in the body.” Yes! These are all very true, however, we should also be very aware of the dangers that salt can have on our lives.  Did you even know that salt can be harmful to your body?  Consuming excess amounts of sodium increases blood pressure, as it holds excess fluid in the body. This creates an added burden on the heart.  Eating or drinking too much salt can make you feel bloated & it makes you retain water.  Too much salt can also increase the risk of stroke, heart failure, osteoporosis, stomach cancer and kidney disease.  Did you know that 1 in 3 Americans will develop high blood pressure in their lifetime.  Yikes! I am not a Statistician, however, I know I don’t want to chance those odds!  So, you might be asking yourself, "How can I make sure I don’t succumb to the dangers of high sodium levels in my life?" First and foremost, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. I personally drink at least a gallon of water every day, but each person is different. Drinking water can help flush out excess sodium.  Secondly, eat real food! A plant-based diet in particular is best. Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts & seeds is critical, especially as these items are high in fiber, healthy fats & nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium & potassium.  Potassium is especially important as it helps our body eliminate excess sodium & it relaxes blood vessel walls, both of which help lower blood pressure.  Avoid ALL processed foods, including sodas, juices, diet drinks and essentially anything that comes from a package.  Whole Foods even contain natural levels of sodium, so getting added levels from packaged foods is overkill and it can kill!  If you still feel the need to cook with salt, use high-quality Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt.  Also, partake in my favorite activity = exercise!! Exercising can strengthen your heart, enabling it to pump more blood with less effort. Exercise really should be viewed as a necessity to prevent chronic diseases & especially heart disease.  In conclusion, be more aware of your salt consumption. Since natural, whole foods already contain sodium, there really is no need to consume more. If you do eat packaged foods, please read the labels. And finally, drink plenty of water and get your exercise! 

Cheers to a reduced sodium lifestyle!

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