Saturday, March 26, 2011

Would you like some salt with that?

I know, I know, I still can't seem to stay on this blog thing. But we have a new plan. AJ is going to write about saving money on food, and I am going to write about staying healthy. So here goes.

Yesterday, I picked up a Prevention mag while I was babysitting, and it had a lengthy article about sodium in it. Basically sodium is bad for you, like anything that tastes good ;). There are myriad things that it causes, such as the usual high blood pressure, but also weight gain, sleep apnea, and stomach cancer among others. Yikes! Also bad is that when you look at the sodium percentages in food they are based on 2,400 Mg per day being your limit. Now doctors are saying that you should consume no more than 1,500 Mg in a day.

Now before you put away your salt shaker hear me out. The issue is rarely sprinkling too much salt on your food, it's the salt that is already added to all the processed foods we eat that is the problem. In an example given of a normal day's worth of eating from breakfast through dinner the average person consumes about 6,500 Mg. That's over three times the recommended total.

So what can you do? Well, obviously eating fewer processed foods is a big part of it, and these foods are great for other reasons, such as less sugar, fat, and unhealthy preservatives. Starting today we are both writing down every item that we eat and the sodium content. Just through breakfast and packing AJ a lunch it adds up fast. But we're not going to try to alter our habits yet. After a few days we will see where we are and then look at modifications. The good news is that we are already eating less processed foods than we were a few months ago. Also good is that even if you eat lots of salt and processed foods, your taste buds are full of receptors that have a life span of one to two weeks which means that you can fully wean yourself from a salt-laden diet in the time it takes for those receptors to be replaced.

I'll do a follow up in a few days to document how we are doing.