Sodium levels are still too high

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Recent news and research shows many people are trying to reduce their sodium intake, but it’s still not enough.

“Try to get anywhere from 2000-2300 mg of sodium per day. On average we’re typically getting 3400 – 4000 mg of sodium. So there’s a really big difference in what we’re getting vs. what we’re supposed to be getting,“explains Lacee Pinkerton, the clinical dietitian at Topeka’s Cotton O’Neil Heart Center.

Too much of it can be detrimental to your health, specifically for your heart and kidneys.

“Anywhere excess water goes (in the body), that’s where the sodium is going to build up in the blood.  So obviously when we think of the heart, you don’t want to make it work any harder than in needs to.”

But don’t completely remove it! Some sodium is essential for our daily diets.

Pinkerton said it helps our body with PH balance, nerve transmission, and muscle relaxation.

The key is to be aware, keep track of what you’re eating, and maintain portion sizes.

“Anything that comes in a package, a bottle, or a container at the grocery store, is going to contain some level of sodium in it.  And we may be eating a low sodium food, but if we’re eating several portions of it, that’s where it can turn into a high sodium food, and it can lead to a health problem.”

And if you can’t live without it, dietitians recommend choosing the lower sodium versions of your favorite foods, which are now available in most grocery stores.

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