sodium

  1. Sodium is mostly in prepared foods

    Why your "low-salt diet" failed

    Don't toss out your salt shaker just yet!

    Your doc will look you in the eye and tell you that it's time. He'll say that your blood pressure is not only too high, but that it's been high for a while.

    This is your last chance to bring it down and avoid drugs... or, if you're already on those meds, he might want to switch you to more powerful new drugs and higher doses.

    You know what you have to do. You know you need to cut back on your salt -- but while you certainly SHOULD make an effort to bring your sodium intake under control, new research shows how all the salt in your kitchen won't make much of a difference.

    Odds are, the salt that's in your shaker is only a tiny portion of your daily sodium intake.

    The new study finds that most Americans get just 5 percent of their salt from the shaker and another 6 percent from adding it to their meals while cooking, while another 14 percent is the stuff found naturally in many foods.

    The rest of it -- a whopping 80 PERCENT -- comes from prepared foods.

    It's the sodium found in restaurant meals, take-out and fast food, as well as premade dishes you might buy for convenience at the supermarket... whether it's a rotisserie chicken or a frozen dinner.

    Plenty of sodium can also be found in sauces, syrups, marinades, and mixes.

    It's even found in high levels in everything from breads to pancake mix.

    Yes, pancake mix!

    Put it all together and THAT salt -- not the stuff you sprinkle on your foods yourself for a little flavor -- is the REAL reason many Americans are getting DOUBLE and even TRIPLE the recommended limit.

    The key is obvious: Get back to eating fresh foods. Eat the way grandma did.

    She made her foods from scratch, right?

    She probably didn't even use a measuring spoon. A sprinkle of this, a dash of that and she whipped up fresh meals better than anything you'd get at a restaurant.

    Cook your own fresh foods from scratch like her and add a little salt to taste
    -- but don't stop there. Blood pressure control is about more than rushing from one extreme to the other with your sodium levels.

    It's about balance, especially keeping a good ratio of salt and potassium. As you bring your sodium intake down and boost your potassium, you'll find your BP levels will often come under control quickly and effectively without the need for meds.

    And since you'll be eating better and healthier foods, you'll also drop a couple of pounds and cut your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and more.

  2. Sodium reductions won’t help without potassium

    Why your low-sodium diet failed

    You know I just love bucking conventional wisdom.

    The low-fat diet ISN'T the best diet. Milk DOESN'T do a body good. Fluoride WON'T give you stronger teeth.

    And while I'm busting myths, you DON'T have to wait 30 minutes after eating before you go swimming.

    I don't do this because it's fun, even though it certainly is. I do it because millions of people suffer needlessly following bad mainstream medical advice, and someone needs to correct the record.

    It's practically a full-time job, because the latest research shows how even when the mainstream gets it right... they STILL manage to get it wrong!

    They're RIGHT that you need to watch your salt intake. But they're WRONG because their advice stops there... and doesn't include boosting potassium.

    As the new study shows clearly, cutting back on salt alone won't do much to cut your blood pressure.

    But if you're like most folks, you already know that.

    You know, because you've "been there, done that" with the low salt diet. You've spent weeks -- maybe even months -- carefully tracking your sodium.

    Then, you walk into your doctor's office for the big reveal. He puts the cuff on... listens carefully... releases the air... and... and... and...

    Your numbers have barely budged!

    Next thing you know, your doc is trying to push a blood pressure med on you.

    "Well, we gave the low-sodium diet a shot," he'll say as he whips out his prescription pad. "Now it's time to break out the big guns."

    You don't need the big guns.

    You need that potassium.

    Along with bringing your BP levels down, the right balance between potassium and sodium will help improve your kidney function and even protect your heart.

    So don't just cut back on salt. Boost your potassium, too.

    Most folks think of bananas when they think of potassium, but it's not quite that simple. Bananas do have some potassium, but you'd have to eat NINE per day to get the levels you need!

    The best sources of potassium are actually greens such as spinach, Swiss chard, beet greens, and bok choy.

    You'll also find it in beans, peas, sweet potatoes, and avocado.

    So here's the key to cutting salt and boosting potassium at the same time, and it's pretty basic: Eat only fresh foods. Eat plenty of produce at every meal, especially greens. Cook your own meals without packaged ingredients, then feel free to add salt to taste only AFTER you've cooked it.

    A dash of salt on top after you serve it goes much further than dumping it in while it's cooking.

    You'll get plenty of potassium from your food, you won't have much salt in your diet and your meals will taste great.

    I've got more on this topic in the April issue of my Health Revelations newsletter, hitting your inbox in a couple of weeks.

  3. Chain restaurants use too much salt

    New data shows chain restaurants haven't cut back on salt as promised. In fact, levels have actually increased.
  4. Too much salt in your diet

    Many people get double the limit of sodium or more -- in part because excess salt is hidden in many common foods.
  5. The sweet spot for salt

    Sodium has been a necessary part of the diet since time began -- but based on how little the mainstream knows about it, you'd think it was discovered just last week.
  6. Low salt comes with high risk

    Next time your doctor says "cut back on the salt, or else" ask him one question. Or else what?
  7. Seaweed for heart health

    But in Asia, this nuisance is on the menu -- and with good reason, too: Seaweed is one of the healthiest foods you can eat, and a new review of the research finds it can boost your heart health like nothing else.
  8. Salt isn't the problem after all

    Salt has been called every name in the book and labeled Public Health Enemy Number One for its supposed role in heart disease and an early death.
  9. Talking sense about salt

    Finally, the absurd amount of salt we're eating is getting the attention it deserves.

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