So you are trying to get healthy, eat more veggies and exercise often. First, kuddos to you for taking the step to put your health in top priority. There are a few things you need to know when it comes to the food that is out there and what may seem like a healthier choice, but could ultimately be putting you off your goals just because it is advertised healthy. Many of the pre-packaged goods that are labeled whole grain, low-fat or healthy on the front, are usually full of lots of extras that are not healthy for us. Sodium is one of the biggest culprits. According to the American Heart Association, the average American eats 3,400 mg of sodium per day. High levels of sodium can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. The daily recommendation of sodium is no more than 2,300 mgs per day, ideally 1,500 mgs. Our bodies need a balance of salt and water to work properly, any excess amount will throw the balance off. Some high sodium foods to avoid include:
-Pre-packaged snack items
-Condiments and dressings
-Hot dogs, turkey dogs, meat sticks
-Bagged chips and pretzels
-Adding salt to cooked meats
-Deli meats, bacon
Be sure to check the labels on the things you buy before you consume them. Just because it may be labeled less fat, or lower sodium, does not mean that it is a good option.
Stick with foods that are whole and what you find on the outside perimeter of your grocery store. The lean meats like boneless, skinless chicken breast, lean beef, lean turkey and fresh fish and beans are all good options. Try making your own seasonings and not including salt or the salt-free seasonings like Mrs. Dash. Fill up on fibrous vegetables like broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, and spinach, just to name a few. Don’t forget about fruit too. Fruits and vegetables offer a multitude of health benefits from the micronutrients they provide.
Shaking the Salt Habit to Lower High Blood Pressure. (n.d.). Retrieved March 15, 2017, from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/PreventionTreatmentofHighBloodPressure/Shaking-the-Salt-Habit_UCM_303241_Article.jsp#.WMmKofkrKM8