Sodium has been a controversial subject for a long time, and specifically women have had a love/hate relationship with the impact that salt has had on their bodies. Bloating in stomach abdomen. BLOATING text written on female stoSo what is the breakdown of how sodium impacts your body and what are some of the highest salt content foods you may be eating and not even be aware of? After doing quite a bit of research we found that many people suffer from adverse effects from using too much salt in their diet, which can lead to bigger health issues in the future.

Health Risks of a Sodium Diet

123244028Many studies have been done over the years evaluating the overall impact of sodium levels in one’s diet and the amount of health implications that salt has was actually quite alarming. Besides the common bloating associated with eating a high sodium meal, I never new how much my favorite seasoning was affecting my body until I spent a little time looking into the matter.

  • Brain Activity – In 2011, a Canadian study found that high sodium diets demonstrated a decline in cognitive activity in older women.
  • Kidneys – Sodium is key to regulating the overall fluids of our body, and by ingesting large amounts of salt, the body has a hard time passing water, increasing the risk of kidney disease and high blood pressure. Blood Pressure Conceptual Meter
  • Bones – excessive calcium excretion has also been linked to high levels of sodium intake raising a red flag with experts regarding bone density and osteoporosis.
  • Heart – Increased blood pressure has also been reported in cases studied using high dosages of salt in one’s diet.
  • Skin – a skin symptom known as, edema, has been reported by those who partake in high sodium diets causing the swelling of hands, feet, arms and legs.
  • Stomach – another risk of a high salt diet is the potential for developing stomach ulcers.

High Sodium Foods

Now that we know sodium can impact our health, what about our favorite foods? Are you eating something that has a high sodium level and don’t even know it? Here are some of the most common foods with the highest levels of sodium.Bowl Of Cornflakes

  • Deli Meats
  • Breakfast Cereals
  • Vegetable Juice
  • Canned Soups and Vegetables
  • Flavor Packets and Condiments
  • Frozen Meals
  • Spaghetti Sauce

Low Sodium Food Alternatives

If you are like me, then trying to find an alternative to your favorite sauce while enjoying mom’s home made meatballs can be a problem. young woman shopping for fruits and vegetables in produce departI have become more aware when I am at the market by purchasing items claiming to be lower in sodium than their counterparts, for example; low sodium soy sauce and substituting sea salt for iodized. With the ongoing convenience of “fast food” being catered in our local supermarkets, grabbing a quick sandwich can also be hard to break. Here are some great alternatives for low sodium diets.

  • Fresh Vegetable and Fruits
  • Non-Processed Meat and Poultry
  • Rice or Pasta
  • Unsalted Nuts and Seeds
  • Vinegar and Oil
  • Lemons, Limes and Ginger

While this list is not a complete dietary supplement, it does give you the basics you need to learn how to avoid high sodium diets and prevent the future health risks of your favorite foods. Woman holding a bag in a fruit and vegetable outdoor marketMany people are posting “salt free” recipes now days to help you get the full flavor and enjoyment out of your foods without having to sprinkle a bit of salt to bring out the full flavors of your signature dish. So next time you get ready to go grocery shopping, check out the sodium levels of your favorite items and opt in for a healthier choice.