Rhonda’s Cooking

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How Much Sodium Are You Consuming?

Posted by rhondascooking on August 24, 2008

Sodium one of the 6 major minerals that your body needs.  It regulates body fluids in and out of every cell, transmits nerve impulses, helps to regulate blood pressure, and helps the heart and muscles to relax.  So, if sodium is an important mineral for the body, then why are we advised by to eat foods low in sodium?

 

Here’s the deal, most Americans consume about 3200 – 4000mg of sodium per day1; this is BAD with a capital B!  According to the American Dietetic Association, Americans ages 9 and up should consume between 1,500 – 2,300mg of sodium per day—this is equivalent to ½ – 1 teaspoon!! If you have challenges with hypertension (high blood pressure), then you really need to make sure that you pay attention to the amount of sodium in foods.  According to the DASH plan (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) you should consume less than 2,300mg of sodium per day.  Please note that the amount of sodium required also changes with age (see Table 1). Maybe now you can see why we MUST be on a “low sodium” diet!  

 

Required Amount

Equivalent Amount

For…

250mg

1/4 teaspoon

basic functions

1500mg

1/2 teaspoons

seniors

2300mg

1 teaspoon

adults

Table 1.  Required amount of sodium

 

So how do you begin to make this transition to a low sodium diet?  Start slow and stop using table salt and transition to a light grey sea salt, such as Celtic Sea Salt.   Also, begin to use a combination of herbs and spices such as garlic, onions (leeks, shallots, Vidalia, etc.), onion powder, garlic powder, rosemary, parsley, cilantro, ginger, cumin, etc.  Target to only eat 500mg of sodium per meal and about 250mg of sodium per snack—you only should have 2 or 3 snacks per day!  If you need help, let me know because all of my recipes in my upcoming cookbook will be low sodium!  Email info@rhondasooking to put your name on the pre-order list.

1Duyff, Roberta Larson.  Complete Food and Nutrition Guide.  New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2006.

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2 Responses to “How Much Sodium Are You Consuming?”

  1. Regenia Moore-Lee said

    Rhonda, I’ve been enjoying reading your newsletter! So proud of YOU and your accomplishments…

    Would love to have a copy of your new cookbook when it’s ready.

    All the best,
    Regenia
    Bangkok, Thailand

  2. Caroly said

    I really enjoy grits for breakfast and need to know what can I use to season them.

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