According to the
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the average man consumes 4,500mg of sodium a day– which
is almost 2 times the maximum amount recommended per their most recent
“This is a more serious problem than you think,” warns Dr.
Baxter Leonard of
Catawba Valley Family Medicine Medical Arts. “There’s substantial evidence linking an intake of excess
sodium to the development of higher blood pressure, which increases the
risk of stroke, heart attacks and kidney disease.” According to the
Centers for Disease Control, about one in every three American adults have high blood pressure and
32.6% of men 20 years and older have either hypertension, high blood pressure
and/or take antihypertensive medication. “It’s especially
dangerous because high blood pressure often gives no warning signs or
symptoms, so you may not know you have it until it’s too late,”
said Dr. Leonard.
Dr. Leonard provides these simple tips to keep your sodium intake in check:
How much is too much sodium?
The latest update of the guidelines from the USDA calls for everyone to
reduce daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg). That’s
about 1 teaspoon of table salt.
How to lower that amount?
- Read labels and choose foods lower in sodium most of the time
- Buy fresh or plain frozen vegetables, and if you choose canned vegetables,
look for products with no salt added
- Use fresh poultry, fish and lean meat, rather than canned or processed types
- Use herbs, spices and salt-free seasoning blends in cooking and at the
table instead of salt
- Rinse canned foods like tuna to remove some sodium
Not sure if you are at risk for high blood pressure? Talk to your primary
care provider about getting checked and evaluating your risk. To make
an appointment with Dr. Leondard at
Catawba Valley Family Medicine Medical Arts located at 24 2nd Avenue NE Hickory call 828.328.2231.