Friday, January 11, 2008

The Many Colors of Salt

I'm trying to watch my sodium intake. It's hard, and I am sure that I have many readers of this column who will agree with me on this one.

No matter what kind of prepared foods you buy at the Grocery, even those that come from a healthy foods store like a Whole Foods or New Frontiers (our store in Sedona), you find that behind the organic ingredients and the "natural" labels lies a ton of sodium. You almost can not get away from it. Which means that you may, like me, come home from the grocery store with your bags of veggies and fruits, vowing to lead a low-sodium lifestyle even if it kills you trying.

Unfortunately, that's when you find that salt comes in many colors.

I like the way that Dr. Lori Daniels, cardiologist at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center describes this issue to her cardiac patients. She recently wrote that you may be able to significantly lower your blood pressure by reducing the sodium, but you must be aware that white table salt is just one form of sodium in your kitchen.

The other colors of culinary culprits with high sodium content are black (soy and teriyaki sauce), yellow (mustard), pink (lunch meats) and brown (canned soups and gravies.) Check the sodium content before ingesting a processed product; if you dramatically reduce your intake of sodium, you might, under your doctor’s care, be able to eliminate some blood pressure medications.

I'm now in the process of trying a number of dietary supplements personally, those that suggest on their boxes that they benefit high blood pressure. I will let you know how I do in a future blog!


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