Kirk’s #GoVeggies 31-Day Challenge, Day 11: Don’t Be Salty!

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This problem that Americans have with blood pressure is really stressing everyone out.  One-third of Americans are afflicted by it and it’s more than 50% of those in my age range (55-64 years of age). 

My blood pressure is on the “high” side, so I decided to cut down on the amount of salt I put on my food years ago. Then I learned something startling: Approximately 80% of the sodium that average American consumes does not come from the salt shaker. It comes from what is added to the processed food that we eat!

First, let’s clear something up: table salt is sodium chloride (NaCl), but it’s the sodium intake that affects your blood pressure. The issue is that sodium-based food additives are rife in the processed food arena. They are used as preservatives, emulsifiers, stabilizers, gelling and thickening agents, flavor enhancers, sweeteners and coloring agents. 

Any type of food that is mass produced and packaged—basically food products with nutrition labels on them—use those additives. Essentially, without those sodium additives, there would be no processed food industry. Therefore, it appears that the most prudent way to cut down on sodium consumption would be to cut down on processed food.

The key to lowering your sodium intake and high blood pressure is to replace processed food with fresh produce. The majority of your food intake must come from the first aisle of the grocery store to maintain metabolic wellness!

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