Halt that Salt!

By Cody Frank

Did you know?

One cup of low-fat milk has ~100mg of sodium.

One tablespoon of soy sauce has ~1,000mg of salt.

One slice of whole wheat bread has 100mg of sodium.

Wow, that’s a lot of salt and that’s not even ¼ of my breakfast!

Salt is a necessary for the bodies to function but most Americans digest excess amounts.  Sodium (salt) helps maintain the balance of fluids in your body, influences the contraction and relaxation of muscles, and helps transmit nerve impulses.  These are all important for a dancer’s body to move well.  According to the The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the recommended daily salt intake is 2,300mg.  It adds up pretty fast for most Americans who consume around 3,400mg of salt daily.  If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic kidney disease or are African American the suggested daily intake is 1,500mg.

The kidneys balance the amount of sodium in your body by excreting or storing it.  If there is too much sodium in your body it will hold water (bloating), and blood volume increases. This raises your blood pressure and makes your heart work more.

Where all the salt comes from:

  1. The amount of processed food and prepared foods you ingest.
  2. Natural foods have salt .
  3. Condiments and adding more salt at the table.

Tips to decrease salt intake:

  1. Remove salt from recipes whenever possible
  2. Eat more fresh foods. Be sure to check the label for sodium/salt additives and the amount of sodium. While you’re at it decrease the amount of times you eat out or purchase processed foods.
  3. Use dried and fresh herbs, spices, and fruit to add flavoring to season foods.
  4. Choose low sodium options and read the label to insure it is a low sodium option.
  5. Use salt substitutes wisely.
  6. Dispose of your salt salter and do not use more than ¼ teaspoon daily in your cooking/at the table.

Information via Mayo Clinic.

Photo Via Beekman
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