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Minimize Sodium and Add Potassium for Better Health

By Tom Herrin

Most people would like to have better diets.  Their problem is often they don’t want to give up anything.  So many of the foods people eat are filled with fats, sugars, and salt that they have developed a strong taste for those things.  When they eat foods that have lower contents of any of them, they feel as if there is no flavor.  It is important for people to develop a taste for foods that are healthy.  Reading labels can provide a better picture of what people are consuming.  They get a better sense of what a serving is and what the recommended daily requirements are for many nutrients, it can be an eye-opening experience.  Excess sodium, usually as salt, is over abundant in many foods, and it can play a part in ruining health.

It May Cause High Blood Pressure

Some people believe that eating more salt makes people more thirsty, so they drink more water.  That is a somewhat simple version of what happens.  In reality, when people take in excess sodium, their body attempts to dilute the sodium by retaining more water.  This creates an overload on the kidneys.  They have to do more work, which creates excess wear on them.  The heart experiences a similar situation.  It must work harder to move the excess fluid.  The blood vessels often harden as they deal with the stress of so much blood being pumped through them.  This may increase blood pressure, among other problems.  

Some Populations Have Real Problems With Sodium

Studies have shown a high correlation between groups of people who have high sodium intakes with high blood pressure.  It is part of many cultures and can have a profound effect on the health of that population.  In China, high blood pressure is the number one cause of preventable death.  Cultures with lower sodium intake have significantly lower blood pressure among their groups.

Potassium Can Play A Key Role In Better Health

Education and restraint is best in forming eating habits.  People wanting to improve their diets can increase their intake of potassium and make some measurable improvements in health.  Potassium can help remove sodium from the blood while relaxing the blood vessels.  This can lower blood pressure.  Developing a taste for fresh fruits and vegetables and consuming more of them can provide a great boost to health.  Forming a habit of eating foods that are lower in sodium and higher in potassium can create an overall healthier diet.    

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Brentwood, Calif.


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