As a cardiologist serving those who live in the New Jersey area, we know the many different ways that heart disease can affect an individual, as well as their friends and family. While it is often hard to stave off the harm that heart disease can do once it has been diagnosed, without extreme life changes and medications, prevention is another story altogether. Preventing heart disease is simple when gone about the right way. For the most part, it can be as simple as adopting habits that are healthier and sticking to them. Let’s talk about one of the ways people do the most damage to their hearts.
How Are You Causing Harm To Your Heart?
One of the worst ways people do harm to their cardiovascular system is with excess sodium consumption. This is not only one of the most common issues we find in those who are diagnosed with heart disease, but it is also reversible. Great news, right? This is welcome information considering reports by The Centers for Disease and Prevention that “ninety percent of Americans consume too much sodium.” This not only can drastically increase blood pressure but eventually can lead to blood vessel damage, kidney problems, heart attacks, and strokes. In many cases, even those who are already dealing with high blood pressure can undo the harm that sodium has done on their body when they reduce their intake.
How Do You Reduce Your Salt Intake?
Much of the time when we tell our patients that they need to cut down on their salt intake, they assume that we mean they cannot eat salt at all. First off, let’s not confuse salt and sodium, as they are not the same thing. Salt is sodium chloride, a source of sodium. On the other hand, sodium is an actually a mineral that is required for the body to function properly. The truth is that there are many foods that contain salt and sodium, as well as a number of healthy foods that have sodium contained in them naturally such as beets, corn, and carrots. You can cut down your intake of salt and sodium by checking out the nutritional information on the foods you purchase in the grocery store. Additionally, staying away from processed food and fast food is a must if you want to ensure you are lowering the amount of sodium you eat.
How Much Sodium Should You Eat?
Current dietary guidelines suggest that a person should consume less than 2300 mg of sodium in an average day. However, if you are someone who suffers from high blood pressure, kidney disease or diabetes, your doctor will likely recommend that you limit your sodium intake even more.
Concerned About Your Heart Health?
If you are concerned about the health of your heart and you want to ensure that you are keeping your cardiovascular system in the best shape possible, schedule an appointment at the Cardio Metabolic Institute of New Jersey today. We would love to help you reach optimal health in any way we can.