Blog Entries With Tag: sodium


Posted: Mar 15, 2013
Salt or sodium if we're going to be technical is in EVERYTHING we eat - we can't avoid it completely - plus our body does need salt.  According to the ... The National Academy of Sciences - they recommend " that Americans consume a minimum of 500 mg/day of sodium to maintain good health.  Individual needs, however, vary enormously based a person's genetic make-up and their lifestyle ".


I was watching a recent episode of Marketplace a consumer program on CBC here in Canada - called The Great Salt Shakedown.  was mortified to find out that here in Canada - when you look at a food label for the sodium content of your food - that the daily requirements are based on a higher number than what the health authorities have been pushing for.  The percentages are based on 2,400 mg per day!

In a nutshell, healthy adults should NOT be consuming more then 1,500 mg of sodium a day.  When it comes to healthy children, their number is 1,000 - 1,500 mg of sodium a day.   Take for example, in my age group, I should only be consuming no more then 1,300 mg of salt per day - when I started to look at the sodium content on my low carb fav of cheese - which I've always known to be high - I just about flipped out! For more info on what you should be aiming for - along with other tips - here's a link to get you started.

In the episode, various participants were asked to collect their urine for the day, and from that, tests performed to see how much sodium was consumed.   It was pretty scary seeing some of the results, healthy/active folks both young and old, who thought they did not consume much salt.  One person, an avid swimmer that looked about my age, had almost 6,000 mg of sodium (and they were vegan)!!!  Let's just say, they were shocked at the results.

After that show, what did we do in my household?  Went looking in our pantry and started to evaluate our sodium content in our processed foods.  Scary, scary, scary - e.g. my fav Bush beans that I keep on the boat for fast meals with canned pork - combined I'm consuming over a third of my sodium level - or more depending on how much I slop on my plate after a day of sailing.   Guess what I'm looking at doing now .... canning my own meats for future sailing trips due to home recipes using way less salt than the mass produced stuff - you can check out one website that tells you how to do it (if you know of another way to do this - let me know).  

For myself as a diabetic, as I am sure many of you do as well, I tend to look mainly at the carb count on the food label, along with the fat and calories.  The sodium content is something I don't really look carefully at - but now after this show, I am.  We all know as diabetics how much stress our internal organs go thru' with the daily grind of our blood sugars, but add that extra sodium and of course it can contribute to high blood pressure - putting a strain on our kidneys / heart. 


How am I going to start reducing my intake of sodium you ask?  Well, I thought I already was with cooking from scratch - but after looking at two cans of tomatoes in my pantry - for 1/2 cup (125 mL) - and one serving from Italy (9 mg) and another from Canada (290 mg) - you can tell which one I'll be sourcing out in future!  Also, as one of the links from Health Canada below,  it points out when/if possible going for fresh rather then processed.  Of course for me it depends on what I can afford and the season (e.g. I can get great deals on tomatoes in September - but it's March right now).

So after having my breakfast, of simple toast (not my own bread like usual - which DOES contain more salt then mine), margarine, pineapple jam and 2% cottage cheese  - it all totalled up to almost half  of my sodium content for the day.  I'm realising this is going to be an interesting experiment to accomplish because many of the foods I love to eat that are processed in one form or another.  I won't even try to figure out what a processed cheese slice contains - I'm too scared to know - even though my fingers are dying to search online to find out what they contain - but don't want my bubble burst for my love of plastic cheese from time to time.

So, do you know how much sodium you consume in the day?  If you don't - check out this helpful guideline at Health Canada - I know I am going to try my best (even though I thought I was doing well).  Also, for more info on the chart showing the % of Daily Value (DV) - please go to this link.

Let the dance begin - at least I know pepper isn't bad for me (and I use a lot in my cooking - freshly ground)!

 
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Posted: Apr 18, 2012
My endo many years ago in my 30's started insisting that I take blood pressure (BP) medication because one BP reading in his office showed that up abit high (I have the white coat syndrome ).  They had also said that by taking these meds that it would help curb any problems with my kidneys.

According to a diabetic friend of mine - who is like me - not medically educated but is a long term diabetic like myself - often tells other diabetics that they mentor that they don't need to take these meds for preservation of their kidney.   Supposably after "x" years (can't remember the number) - if no kidney problems are showing - that you don't need to be on these meds.  I am always hoping that those folks that receive that advice do go and seek a second opinion from someone who is knowledgable in this field - but still it does make me wonder after just having gone through the past few months - not been taking my blood pressure pills.  Actually - in the past - I often forget to take them as I'm bad at remembering to take pills - it's hit and miss - but insulin I take religiously!!

I've been testing my BP in the comfort of my home, which I am sure helps in the reading.  Today it was 110/60, and my readings tend to fall in this area or less.  I actually found when taking the medication I was even lower - but didn't feel any different then I do at my usual readings - e.g. no low blood pressure symptoms.

I'm going to ask my endo about my little experiment I've been doing next time I see them (in July) - and see if they agree with what my friend had told me - about not taking BP meds.

Here are some tips from a video here at Diabetes1.org - it's aimed more at Type 2 diabetics I find - but can be applied to not just diabetics but EVERYONE - diabetic or not!  I do find the recommended reading of 130/80 to be abit high for diabetics - but I guess it's a number that doctors feel safe with having their patients attain if they are already suffering from higher numbers.  A patient has to start somewhere - and try to improve afterwards (e.g. reducing salt in diet, stopping smoking, etc.).  The Canadian Diabetes Association also has an excellent article online that you can also read about attaining a healthy blood pressure.



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