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Wendy's Health Page
The Truth about Salt

Cutting Back on Salt could be the key to stronger bones, a healthier heart, and a lot less bloat.You may think if you don't sprinkle salt on your food your safe, but the salt shaker is not the problem. Nearly 75% of the sodium we consume comes from packaged food and healthy low fat ones are usually higher in sodium to make up for the missing flavor of fat.

Concerns about sodium are not only geared towards those with high blood pressure, a high sodium intake can increase the risk of developing osteoporosis; sodium causes calcium to be excreted in the urine instead of being used to strengthen bones. Lower salt intake can also cut the risk of developing kidney stones.

Also, in addition to causing health problems, salt can expand your waistline. Sodium helps to regulate water balance in the body, but to much can cause cells to hold onto fluid- and that means bloating. The problem only gets worse during your period, some water retention is normal at certain points during your cycle, salt only exacerbates it. It may help to cut back sodium intake a few days before your period.

Most Americans are getting 10,000 milligrams of sodium a day!  That's more than four times the amount recommended by the American Heart Association- 2400 milligrams, or the equivalent of a little more than one teaspoon of table salt.

 To help keep track of how much extra you're using, think of every shake of salt as about 300 milligrams of sodium.
Check out the foods below to see where the rest of those, 10,000 milligrams come from.

Soy sauce (1 tbs)- 1,227mg
Cottage Cheese( 1% fat, 1 cup)- 918mg
Wendy's grilled chicken Caesar salad-900mg
Campbell's black bean soup-(1/2 cup)900mg
Cocktail sauce(1/4 cup)-800mg
Rice-A-RoniBroccoli Rice(1cup prepared)-780mg
Bisquick Shake N Pour buttermilk batter(3 pancakes)-730mg
Seasoned bread crumbs(1/4 cup)-700mg
V-8 juice-(8oz)-620mg
Marinara sauce(1/2 cup)-504mg
Lean Cuisine Glazed Chicken-480mg
Canned red kidney beans-(1/2 cup)-444mg
Parmesan cheese(1oz hard)-454mg
Sour pickle(1 medium)-423mg
Kellogg's Nutri-grain frozen waffles(2 waffles)-420mg
Kellogg's Raisin Bran(1 cup)-390mg
Whole-Wheat pita(61/2" diameter)-340mg
Louis rich fat free oven roasted turkey breast(1 slice)-330mg
Hunt's Ketchup(1 tbls)-200mg

*note: those amounts in maroon indicate that a low-sodium version of these products are available(though not all brands). The FDA considers a food low-sodium if it contains 140 milligrams of sodium or less per serving.

* FYI- The American Heart Association's newly updated- Low Salt Cookbook, offers more than 230 low-sodium, high-flavor recipes.

* All information taken from Fitness October 2001 issue with research and test from Cyndi Thompson, a registered dietitian and Nadine Pazder, R.D, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association