In todays society it can be hard to cut down on your sodium intake. Between taking care of your family, work responsibilities and finding time for yourself, it’s a lot easier to grab a hamburger and fries from a fast food restaurant when on the run. However, that one stop for a hamburger and fries can add 1,200 mgs of sodium into your diet a day!
The American Heart Association recommends keeping your sodium intake at 1,500 mgs a day, which can easily be cut into by high sodium foods. It may seem like a daunting task to reduce the amount of sodium you have in your diet, but it’s also important.
Heart disease claims the lives of more than 400,000 women each year- which is about one per minute. That’s about the same as cancer, accidents and chronic lower respiratory diseases combined. The good news is that you have to power to help prevent heart disease by modifying your diet, visiting your doctor and exercising.
Go Red for Women suggests setting nutritional goals for yourself such as:
- Fruits and Vegetables: At least 4.5 cups a day
- Fish (perferably oily fish, like salmon): At least two 3.5-ounce servings a week
- Fiber- rich whole grains: At least three 1-ounce servings a day
- Nuts, legumes and seeds: At least 4 servings a week, opting for unsalted varieties whenever possible
Other dietary measures you can take:
- Sodium: Less than 1,500 mgs a day
- Sugar- sweetened beverages: Aim to consume no more than 450 calories a week
- Processed meats: No more than two servings a week
- Saturated fat: Should comprise no more than 7 percent of your total calorie intake
You can also help to keep your heart healthy by keeping a food journal and taking the time to familiarize yourself with food labels. You may be surprised by the amount of hidden fats, sodium and sugars that you considered healthly.