Yikes! More than 50 million Americans have been diagnosed with hypertension and 1 in 3 adults will be diagnosed with high blood pressure within their lifetime. With numbers like this it is not a surprise that many studies have focused on the causes and dangers of high blood pressure, as well as what can be done to reduce these risk factors.
Having too much sodium can increase blood pressure as it holds onto excess fluid within the body, which then can add extra stress on your heart. Increase risk of stroke, heart failure, stomach cancer, kidney disease and osteoporosis have also been found to be related to excess sodium intake. With 9 out of 10 Americans consuming too much sodium it seems a large percentage of the population is at risk.
When looking at the American diet sodium is found in excess in many foods, with the largest culprit being supermarket products. First is the fact that salt is very tasty, and many people crave this in their diets. They seek out products that will satisfy their desire for a salty taste of sorts. Second, and more important is that fact that for hundreds of years, salt has been used as a preservative. Salt is actually one of the cheaper flavoring options making it a viable option for many food companies.
In order for Americans to decrease their salt intake they may have to make a conscious effort to eat more fresh and natural foods and asking at restaurants for their food to contain no added salt. When it comes to supermarket shopping, whose products make up about 65% of the salt in the diet, it is important for consumers to be educated on recognizing lower sodium foods.
Low sodium products are those foods that are labeled with less than 140 milligrams of sodium per serving. While this is not always easy to find, there are companies committed to helping to reduce sodium intake. Farmwise Foods is one company that is making every effort to keep the sodium content as low as possible on their wholesome, nutritious foods. Their products, which range from Veggie Fries and Rings to Veggie Tots and Chicken Veggies Nuggets, have continued to keep the sodium content as low as possible, without compromising taste, texture and health. In fact, Farmwise products sodium levels are normally at least 50% lower than the levels in their competitors’ products, with a majority having less than 190 milligrams per serving.
It is important that consumers and food companies work together to continue to reduce sodium in the diet. This in turn will allow for a decrease in the number of people who are at risk for hypertension and the many complications it can cause. Support those companies committed to you and they will continue to create healthy, tasty and nutritious products you can feel good about choosing over and over again.