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Paying Attention to Labels May Improve Health

By Tom Herrin

Some people buy foods simply because they like the product.  Reading labels is not even on the list for many.  They pay no attention to nutritional information even if they contain warnings.  It is a good idea to become familiar with the recommended daily requirements and what a serving size is.  Many people feel like a serving is whatever is in the package.  Looking at a small bag of nuts or chips can reveal that there are actually several servings in a package.  Sodium is one nutrient that bears watching.  Many foods, especially soups and canned meat products -- as well as breakfast meats -- have far more sodium than should be reasonably consumed.  An excess amount of sodium can have some pretty serious effects on health.

It May Lead To Disease

There seems to be some evidence that people who take in higher levels of sodium, or salt, may have an increased risk of developing stomach cancer.  This is not the only disease on the radar because of sodium.  Osteoporosis may have a definite link to high intake of sodium.  When people have high levels of sodium in their bodies, calcium can be lost from the blood.  The body works to replace the calcium in the blood by extracting it from the bones, lowering the bone density.  

Studies Have Shown A Connection Between Sodium And Blood Pressure

There have been several studies on the sodium level consumed by various culture groups.  When people have had higher levels of sodium, blood pressures have been higher.  Those that have had lower levels of sodium have had lower blood pressures.  The leading cause of preventable death each year in China is high blood pressure, with more than 1 million fatalities.

Look For The Amount Of Potassium

When looking at labels, try looking for good things as well as bad.  Potassium can do some great things for health.  It can lower the amount of sodium in the blood.  It can also relax the blood vessels.  Both of these can help lower blood pressure.  You may not even have to read labels but just have a little information.  Fresh fruits and vegetables generally contain high levels of potassium.  These are full of flavor and available at most grocery stores or farmers markets.  Try a variety of them, and you may find that eating healthy is much more enjoyable than you may have thought.

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


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