Do Americans Consume Too Much Salt?

Do Americans Consume Too Much Salt?

Do we consume too much salt in America? Yes, in fact, we eat ten times the amount of salt and/or sodium than our ancestors and the dangers of doing so are multiplying. Salt and sodium are pretty much the same thing.

Many think the danger in high salt/sodium consumption is only in those with high blood pressure, but this is not necessarily so. Too much salt can harm healthy people’s hearts, lungs and can shorten the duration of their lives. Salt overload increases the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease, diabetes, cataracts, brittle bones, asthma, dementia and early death.

Too much salt?
Too much salt?

Back in 2001, a news release came out regarding what is called “Salt Sensitivity“. This is considered a genetic condition that causes an abnormal reaction to sodium that is aggravated by salt overload.

Salt sensitivity with or without high blood pressure, can reduce your survival odds as much as high blood pressure does. This doubles your chances of early death from cardiovascular disease. Too much salt can enlarge the heart’s left ventricle, even if one doesn’t suffer from high blood pressure. Too much salt can also make tiny blood vessels in the brain more likely to leak, raising the risk of what is known as bleeding strokes.

There are some doctors in doubt of these new-found facts and not all researchers are in agreement. Many feel that those who eat a lot of vegetables and fruits and get enough calcium are not in any danger from too much salt consumption. If you are in any doubt or are a bit concerned about your salt intake, or are on a blood pressure medication, by all means, discuss this with your doctor.

How much sodium is safe?

Most researchers say no more than 1,500 milligrams a day, but while the American Heart Association used to say 2,500 milligrams a day is all right, they have now changed their stance to 1,500mg, as well. Even at this new amount, the average American is still consuming too much salt. Americans are consuming 3,500 to 4,000 milligrams daily with some eating four times that amount.

Where is all this salt/sodium coming from? A lot is hidden in food and we aren’t even aware we are ingesting so much. Therefore, it’s a good idea to educate yourself on food containing excessive amounts.

Here is a breakdown of where all this salt is coming from:

  • 10 percent from a natural part of healthful foods.
  • 15 percent from a salt shaker.
  • 75 percent that is hidden in processed and restaurant foods.

Here are some tips on how you can cut back:

  • Remove the salt shaker from the table.
  • Check labels; sodium varies greatly by brand and many sodium-packed foods don’t taste salty at all. Here’s an example; Cheerios have more sodium per serving than potato chips. The top salt offenders are frozen dinners, pizza, lunch meat, processed cheese, and canned soup and ramen soup.
  • Expect at least 1,000 milligrams of sodium in a simple restaurant meal.
  • Asian and Mexican foods contain, on average, 2,000 milligrams per meal.
  • Check out our Low Salt/Sodium Recipes.

See also:

Thirty Symptoms of Toxicity

Thirty Symptoms of Toxicity

The human body is created with a wisdom that is difficult to grasp; that being that it miraculously is able to heal itself from injuries, illness, and trauma.

When toxins build up in our bodies, under normal, healthy circumstances the body can usually repair and restore. However, when overburdened with toxins, we can develop any number of unpleasant symptoms that leave us feeling tired, achy, heavy and out of shape.

Most Common Symptoms of Toxicity
Runners

  1. Tired in the morning even after a good night’s sleep.
  2. Restless sleep.
  3. Feeling exhausted doing everyday things.
  4. Confused, agitated, nervous, anxious or sad.
  5. Anger or irritability, mood swings.
  6. Depressed.
  7. Lapses in memory.
  8. Difficulty in making decisions.
  9. Clumsiness.
  10. Sensitivity to noise.
  11. Dark circles or bags below eyes.
  12. Swollen or inflamed eyelids.
  13. Sensitivity to light.
  14. Intense cravings for “junk” foods.
  15. Itchy palate.
  16. Coating on tongue.
  17. Speech problems.
  18. Acne, bruising, blemishes.
  19. Eczema or psoriasis.
  20. Hives.
  21. Diarrhea or “pasty” stools.
  22. Constipation.
  23. Belching or gas, especially after eating.
  24. Foul-smelling bowel movements.
  25. Bloating or abdominal discomfort.
  26. Heartburn or indigestion.
  27. Frequent urination.
  28. Water retention or bloating.
  29. Joint stiffness.
  30. Headaches or migraines.

Of course, if temporary or short-lived, chances are many of the above symptoms are merely caused by stressful times in your life, etc. However, if they are problematic and don’t go away, toxins could be part of the problem. Consider your eating habits and be honest with yourself.

Are you eating too much junk food? Refined carbohydrates such as donuts, cake? Too many fried foods lately?

If you’re feeling out of sorts, there is a chance you’ve overly exposed your body to toxins and your cells just need time and opportunity to be properly rebuilt.

Remember, the human body truly is incredible. It is created to heal. Trillions of cells work at sonic speeds removing barriers to health, overcoming infections, and healing whatever is affecting your body. The human body is always working to heal itself. It will fight the symptoms of toxicity.

In fact, when given the chance, the human body will work hard to overcome even the most serious ailments and trauma.

Trust the healing intelligence your body was born with – and treat it well so it takes good care of you.

30 Symptoms of Toxicity

30 Symptoms of Toxicity
30 Symptoms of Toxicity

Killer Legs – Blood Clots

Killer Legs & Blood Clots

Killer Legs with Blood Clot Forming
Killer Legs with Blood Clot

Sorry, this isn’t about “killer” as in “well built”, but literally – killer.

People who are off their feet for awhile can develop killer legs from blood clots. DVT is not usually life threatening, but it can be if the blood clots break loose and go into the lungs.

Anyone who is laid up for awhile due to illness, surgery or injury may be at risk to develop a blood clot deep inside their legs. This condition is called Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT. Other situations that can cause DVP are surgery, serious injury, inflammation and an immune response.

Traveling can be a cause; however, your risk of developing DVT while traveling is small. The risk increases if the travel time is longer than 4 hours or you have other DVT risk factors.

Slow or sluggish blood flow can also be a cause of killer legs. Lack of motion can be the cause of slow blood flow, which can cause killer legs.

There are also some inherited conditions that can increase a person’s tendency to clot. This also is true of hormone therapy or birth control treatment and/or usage.

Pregnancy and the first 6 weeks after giving birth can leave a woman at risk, as well.

What Can Happen?

A blood clot in a deep vein can break off and travel through the bloodstream. The loose clot is called an embolus. When the clot travels to the lungs and blocks blood flow, the condition is called pulmonary embolism (PE). Most of these clots usually occur in the lower leg or thigh. This is where the phrase killer legs comes from. They also can occur in other parts of the body.

If the blood clot breaks loose and travels to the lung, it can be fatal. Complications from DVT kill up to 200,000 people a year.

The good news is, in most cases DVT can be prevented. If you or someone you love is laid up for a while, talk to your doctor about how to prevent DVT.

What Are The Symptoms?

This is where this can be DVT can get serious – only about half of the people who develop it have any warning symptoms. Or they may simply not notice them or think they could be anything serious. Warning signs you can watch for include:
Swollen Leg

  • A swollen leg or swelling along a vein in your leg.
  • Painful tenderness in your leg, which occurs most when you stand or walk.
  • A feeling of warmth in the are of the leg that has become swollen.
  • Red or discolored skin on the leg.

If you have any of these symptoms you should contact your health care provider immediately. These symptoms are not unique to DVT and can be associated with other conditions.

Some people will first find out they have DVT until they have symptoms of PE. Those symptoms include:

  • Unexplained shortness of breath.
  • Pain when taking deep breaths.
  • Coughing up blood.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • A fast heart rate.

Treatment

Treatment can be done with medicines and devices as well as therapies. The most common form of treatment is 3 to 6 months of a blood thinner. The goals of treatment are to stop the blood clot from getting bigger, prevent the clot from breaking off and moving to your lungs and reducing your chance of having another blood clot. There are several medications used to treat DVT. Your doctor will help determine what is best for you.

Prevention

You can take steps to prevent DVT.

Regular exercise will decrease the risk of VTE. Regular stretching and leg movement are important for individuals who sit a lot or when traveling on long trips, particularly air travel.

Maintain a normal body weight and eat a healthy diet.

Notable Notes

  • PE is a very serious condition. It can damage the lungs and other organs in the body and cause death.
  • Blood clots in the thigh are more likely to break off and cause PE than blood clots in the lower leg or other parts of the body.
  • Blood clots also can form in veins closer to the skin’s surface. However, these clots won’t break off and cause PE.

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Kick The Morning Blues

Kick The Morning Blues

Many of us are poor starters to the day. We feel languid, uninspired. It is as much as we can do to get out of bed and stand under the shower. However, there are a number of techniques we can adopt to boost our energy levels and reduce our feelings of stress at the start of the day. In other words, kick the morning blues!

Morning Blues
Morning Blues

 

The following are typical techniques and one that has been highly effective for a great many people. So, before getting out of bed in morning, prime your body for action through a series of gentle muscle stretches.

  1. Start with your right foot, extend the toes upwards while inhaling gradually and deeply.
    Hold your breath to a count of 5 and then curl your toes as you exhale. Repeat this exercise with your left foot.
  2. Stretch out your whole body as you lie in bed pushing down with each foot, stretching
    your leg muscles.
  3. Inhale and then as you exhale, stretch your arms above your head.
  4. Gently rise from your bed and stand with an upright posture, both feet firmly on the floor. Breathe deeply, curling your toes as you inhale and extending them on exhaling.

See also: Feeling Blue? Lift a Weight or Two!

Whole Foods Boost Mood

Whole Foods Boost Mood

Eat more whole foods to boost your mood!

Whole Foods Fruits and Vegetables
Whole Foods

People whose diets are high in whole foods have a lower risk of depression than people who eat more processed foods. Researchers analyzed data from more than 3,000 participants with a mean age of 55.6 years. Two dietary patterns were identified:

The “processed food” pattern, which includes fried foods, processed meats, high fat dairy products, foods made with refined grain and added sugars. Study participants who at more processed foods had a higher incidence of depression than participants whose diets included a higher proportion of whole foods.

Source: Weill Cornell Medical College

Healthiest Whole Foods

The healthiest foods are common “everyday” whole foods. These include the fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, lean meats, fish, olive oil, herbs and spices that are familiar to most people.

Whole Foods: Vegetables

Asparagus. Avocados. Beets. Bell peppers. Broccoli. Brussels sprouts. Cabbage.  Carrots. Cauliflower. Celery. Collard greens. Cucumbers. Eggplant. Fennel. Garlic. Green beans. Green peas.  Kale. Leeks. Mushrooms (crimini, shiitake).  Mustard greens. Olives. Onions. Potatoes. Romaine lettuce. Sea vegetables. Spinach. Squash. Sweet potatoes. Swiss chard.  Tomatoes. Turnip greens.  Yams

Whole Foods: Fruits

Apples. Apricots. Bananas. Blueberries. Cantaloupe. Cranberries. Figs. Grapefruit. Grapes. Kiwifruit. Lemon and Limes. Oranges. Papaya.  Pears. Pineapple. Plums. Prunes. Raisins. Raspberries. Strawberries. Watermelon.

Nuts, Seeds and Oils

Almonds. Cashews. Flaxseeds. Extra virgin olive oil. Peanuts. Pumpkin seeds. Sesame seeds. Sunflower seeds. Walnuts.

Grains

Barley. Brown rice. Buckwheat. Corn. Millet. Oats. Quinoa. Rye. Spelt. Whole wheat.

Eggs and Low-Fat Dairy

Low fat cheese. Eggs. 2 percent cow’s milk and goat’s milk. Yogurt.

Seafood

Cod. Halibut. Salmon. Sardines. Scallops. Shrimp. Tuna

Beans and Legumes

Black beans. Dried peas. Garbanzo beans (chickpeas). Kidney beans. Lentils. Lima beans. Miso. Navy beans. Pinto beans. Soybeans. Tempeh and Tofu.

Poultry and Lean Meats

Lean organic beef. Calf’s liver. Chicken. Lamb. Turkey. Venison

Spices and Herbs

Basil. Black pepper. Cayenne pepper. Chili pepper, dried. Cilantro or Coriander seeds, Ground Cinnamon. Cloves.  Cumin seeds. Dill. Ginger. Mustard seeds. Oregano. Parsley. Peppermint. Rosemary. Sage. Thyme. Turmeric.

Natural Sweeteners

  • Blackstrap molasses.
  • Cane juice.
  • Honey.
  • Maple syrup.

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Diet Soda Breath? Dry Mouth?

Diet Soda Breath? Dry Mouth?

Diet Soda Breath?
Diet Soda Breath?

Saliva is a very important part of oral health, providing 3 important functions:

  1. Enzymes to help with digestion of food.
  2. A method to stabilize pH (keep the acid levels in check).
  3. High levels of oxygen in order to keep oral tissues healthy and fresh.

If you suffer from dry mouth (formally named Xerostomia), you naturally have less saliva than the average person. Less saliva means less oxygen and less oxygen means you have an anaerobic environment. This is the perfect situation for sulfur-producing bacteria. Basically, the bacteria are capable of making high levels of sulfur gases, which in turn cause bad breath and a foul taste in your mouth. Diet soda breath stems from these problems.

It isn’t the actual soda that causes diet soda breath. It is the artificial sweeteners in diet soda. But some people have it far worse than others. That is what I will attempt to explain. The whole issue of diet soda breath encompasses many factors.

Some tongue formations are also more conducive to dry mouth than others. Generally, the rougher one’s tongue, the more likely they are to have bad breath. While you cannot inherit the bacteria of bad breath, you can inherit a specific shape of tongue! Just as one would inherit a parent’s eye color, hair color, height, and ear shape.

Once the tongue becomes very dry, or if the tongue becomes irritated by extra hard scraping or brushing, the outer layer becomes very sensitive.

Burning Tongue Syndrome

Another symptom is “burning tongue syndrome”. Many patients who are diabetic may notice a burning of the tongue once they become thirsty. It is important, when one has these symptoms, to stay away from oral rinses that may burn or make your mouth dry. The resulting pain is indescribably painful according to those who suffer from it.

The standard recommendation for Burning Tongue Syndrome and Dry Mouth is the following:

  1. Stop using oral products which make your mouth dry and/or contain sodium lauryl sulfate.
  2. Stop drinking citrus juices (tomato, orange, grapefruit, etc.).
  3. Avoid coffee.
  4. See your physician regarding possibility of diabetes or thyroid problems.

And, use an oral mouth rinse that isn’t irritating – and yes, we have one to recommend (knew that was coming, didn’t you. 🙂 )

Sincerely, this is an excellent product and is amazing just in its ability to help bad breath! As a diet soda consumer, I have dealt with that “diet soda breath” problem – this stuff? Wiped it out entirely! Used as recommended (twice daily), and NO MORE DIET SODA BREATH! This is one reason we’re honored to shamelessly promote this product – or any of Dr. Katz’s for that matter.

TheraBreath Fights Diet Soda Breath
TheraBreath Fights Diet Soda Breath

 

There it is – Dr. Katz TheraBreath Oral Rinse#. No alcohol, no burning, reverses dry mouth and best of all, gives you 24 hour fresh breath, working instantly. Even when you have diet soda breath!

That’s our diet soda breath recommendation and we’re sticking to it!

“One who tries the following in their daily oral hygiene can drastically improve their oral health and decrease the occurrence of bad breath.”

We love the Therabreath Products so much,  and stand by this oral rinse so much we’re giving away a bottle. [NOTE: Give-away has expired]

Forty Four Fat Trimming Tips

Forty Four Fat Trimming Tips Freebie

Bringing fat levels into line with health recommendations is not as difficult as most people seem to think. It is a simple goal, easily accomplished by shaving a few grams of fat here and a few grams of fat there. Following are 44 suggestions that offer help to get you started.

Forty Four Fat Trimming Tips
Forty Four Fat Trimming Tips

The Forty Four Fat Trimming Tips

  1. Take the focus off small meat portions by trying stir-fry’s. Very little or no oil and lots of vegetables keep the dish lean.
  2. Try the en papillote (paper packet) technique for fish or chicken. Use parchment paper or foil and place lean meat, herbs, vegetables and a splash of liquid, like wine, in the center. Wrap and bake.
  3. Bake fish with a splash of white wine, chopped tomatoes, and basil for a fast, low fat entree.
  4. Opt for the select grade in meat; it has less marbling and much less fat than choice cuts.
  5. Marinate lean cuts of meats with citrus juice, vinegar, or other acidic liquids to help tenderize them before cooking. Add fresh herbs to flavor marinade.
  6. Substitute turkey breast or lean ham for luncheon meats like bologna, salami, and liverwurst. Or try low fat turkey copycat versions of pastrami and bologna.
  7. Let lean smoked ham or Canadian bacon take the place of bacon in recipes. Ham offers the smoky flavor of bacon with less fat.
  8. Use meat and cheese as side dishes, and let vegetables and grains fill out the plate.
  9. Peel the skin off chicken or turkey after roasting or baking. As long as you remove skin prior to eating, you will cut back on fat.
  10. Broil meats used in stews, soups and roasts rather than browning them in oil. No need to add more fat to foods that already contain plenty.
  11. Oven-fry chicken and fish: Dip in egg whites, coat with seasoned bread crumbs and bake on a nonstick pan coated with vegetable spray.
  12. Make fruit pies with a single crust. Place the fruit directly in the pie dish and top with pastry. Or make an open face fruit tart.
  13. Bake, stew, or poach peaches (or apples or pears) with cinnamon, cloves and honey for a lean dessert splurge.
  14. Puree chopped cantaloupe in the blender, then add a dash of nutmeg and serve the sauce over ice milk or low fat frozen yogurt.
  15. Substitute evaporated skim milk in recipes that call for heavy cream.
  16. Reach for gingersnaps, vanilla wafers, graham crackers, fig or low fat fruit bars, and animal crackers when cookie cravings strike.
  17. Serve angel food cake with fresh strawberries (or frozen, thawed, with
    syrup included) and fresh kiwi slices for a colorful dessert.
  18. Make pudding with skim milk. Add a touch of spice, like nutmeg, cinnamon, or cloves, to boost flavor.
  19. Cook onions, mushrooms, and green peppers in a pan coated with nonstick vegetable spray, not oil. Two tablespoons of oil used to saute vegetables will carry an extra 240 fat calories. Vegetable sprays add less than ten.
  20. Cut back on buttering vegetables with this gradual method: Use one part margarine with one part lemon juice. Eventually try for mostly lemon and little or no margarine.
  21. Top a baked potato with salsa, meatless chili, or low fat cottage cheese and dill or mixed vegetables plus a tablespoon of grated low fat cheese.
  22. Roast vegetables (sweet pepper chunks, zucchini, asparagus, sliced eggplant) for some low fat flavor. Spray lightly with vegetable spray. Bake for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees or until tender but crisp.
  23. Peel and chop jicama or cucumbers; sprinkle with chili powder to make a Tex-Mex style munchies.
  24. Create a tangy salad dressing with a splash of rice vinegar and dried herbs, or combine plain nonfat yogurt, Dijon mustard, and spices for a creamier topping.
  25. Fix a mock cream sauce with nonfat, plain yogurt; season with dill and serve over salmon. Another variation: Season yogurt with horseradish and serve warm instead of chilled.
  26. Save roughly 10 grams of fat by substituting a tablespoon of mustard for
    a tablespoon of mayonnaise on a sandwich. Other low fat spreads include fruit and vegetable chutney and salsa.
  27. Substitute low fat milk and chicken stock for cream in recipes. The flavor will be less rich, but will taste as good.
  28. Keep reduced fat margarine’s and mayonnaise on hand; they often contain half the fat of the full fat variety. Nonfat mayonnaise is another option.
  29. Use nonfat powdered milk to lighten coffee instead of cream or nondairy creamers.
  30. Pour syrup on pancakes or waffles instead of butter. Two tablespoons contain 100 calories, but zero fat. Two tablespoons of butter add 200 calories, almost all from fat.
  31. Revamp vinaigrette dressing recipes from traditional 3 part oil, 1 part vinegar, to 3 parts vinegar, 1 part oil. Use rice vinegar for a milder flavor.
  32. Mix equal amounts of nonfat plain yogurt with mayonnaise to make a creamy, lower fat dressing for tuna or chicken salad. For even more savings, use reduced fat or fat free mayonnaise.
  33. Concentrate on a few target foods that you are willing to substitute for or limit. Starting with small changes allows for a better long term adjustment to low fat eating.
  34. Look for crackers and snack products that have been baked rather than fried. Be sure to read the Nutrition Facts panel.
  35. Chill homemade and canned soups; skim off the fat layer that forms on the top. Each tablespoon discarded saves about 120 fat calories.
  36. Let an 8 ounce container of 99 percent fat free cottage cheese stand in for the ricotta cheese in your lasagna recipe. You save almost 200 calories, most of them from fat. Nonfat and low fat ricotta cheeses are also available.
  37. Order pizza with any kind of vegetables such as onions, broccoli, mushrooms, green pepper and less cheese. For a meat topping, choose Canadian bacon or ham instead of high fat sausage or pepperoni.
  38. Drain pan-fried foods on a paper towel before serving to absorb extra grease. Go easy on the oil.
  39. Keep the oil in your saucepan or wok very hot when stir-frying.
    Vegetables soak up cold oil much quicker than hot.
  40. Sprinkle powdered butter substitutes (found in the spice section) onto hot foods like baked squash and mashed potatoes. One half teaspoon, a mere four calories, replaces the 108 calories and 12 grams of fat found in a tablespoon of butter.
  41. Fill the refrigerator with nonfat yogurts, sliced raw vegetables, seasonal fruits, fruit juice bars, and frozen low fat fudge bars. When the urge to snack strikes, these low fat munchies will be at your fingertips.
  42. Nibble on bread sticks instead of buttery dinner or crescent rolls. Bread sticks are much lower in fat, and there is less temptation to slather them with butter.
  43. Experiment with fresh herbs like basil, dill, rosemary, and cilantro. Try
    them on vegetables and poultry and in soups. They add lots of great flavor but no fat.
  44. Give yourself a break on occasion. When you are tired of paying attention to every bite of food you put into your mouth and craving a few French fries or a slice of chocolate cake, indulge and enjoy yourself! For heart and overall health, diets do not have to include only certain foods. It bears repeating: Low fat eating is all a matter of balance.

Download the Forty Four Fat Trimming Tips FREE

Download the Forty Four Fat Trimming Tips in PDF
Download the Forty Four Fat Trimming Tips

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Fab Abs in Five

BLOG RE-OPENING SPECIAL! 🙂

A give-away – for a tweet or a “like” on Facebook!

Note: This is long over, but you are more than welcome to check out the Fab Abs in Five eBook.

Fab Abs in Five Minutes a Day!

Fab Abs in Five
Fab Abs in Five

A manual that’s direct, to the point, and super simple. It will give you fab abs with only a five minute a day commitment!

You can have fabulous abdominal muscles with just a five-minute investment each day.

All it takes is five minutes for five fab ab moves with no equipment.  You can achieve desired results with just a five-minute effort and the floor.  A mat might not be a bad idea, but is not necessary.  This abdominal workout is neither tiresome nor boring – it goes too fast!

This workout will work the entire core area of the abdominal muscles.  This will increase the effectiveness of the workout.  You combine five moves, doing each for one minute. This will keep the workout challenging, upbeat and stave off boredom.

It is important to note that you do need to incorporate some aerobics into your exercise routine for maximal effectiveness.  Another option is to use this workout and repeat it at least three times to equal a 20-minute aerobic workout.

Always keep proper form while you are doing the following exercises.  If you do these exercises improperly, you will defeat the purpose because you end up working the wrong muscles.

No matter where you are – home, office, or the park — you can use these five moves to build stronger, more appealing stomach muscles. For a more intense workout, simply add a standard set of ankle weights.

Strong abdominal muscles have many benefits in addition to looking great.  They can help alleviate lower back pain, improve posture and are an essential to overall good health.

Now you can have the Fab Abs in Five Training Manual for nothing more than a tweet!

Note: Offer expired but e-Book still available. See above link.