As important as it is to talk about the foods that are good for us we must also talk about the foods that we should avoid.
When you eat for long life there is no room for these three health-robbing, age accelerating food additives: Sodium, Sweeteners, and bad fats.
Packed into processed foods, drive-through lunches, and manufactured treats, these ingredients seem to have an addictive power over us with long term health consequences such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
These additives have been called everything from “The biggest food-processing disasters in history” to “Frakenfoods” by nutritional experts. In fact the American Medical Association, the foremost organization of doctors in the United States, has asked that the government remove sodium from the list of “safe” food additives.
Breaking free from these health robbers can take real effort. Sodium and sweeteners heighten the flavor of foods – especially low-flavor tasteless processed foods like French fries. And saturated fats and trans fats lend a pleasing crunch to crackers and cookies and keep other baked goods moist and tender.
It can take a while to retrain your taste buds, but you’ll notice that you enjoy the flavors of fresh, whole foods more and that you feel better. Moving away from processed foods full of these additives required patience and perseverance, but it’s worthwhile. The other key is eating “outside the wrapper”. Opting for unprocessed foods, in their natural state (think fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and freshly brewed tea) automatically mean you’ll get less of these bad guys.
So why is sodium harmful?
Too much sodium raises your odds of developing high blood pressure which is on reason that 90 percent of all 55 year olds with normal blood pressure will eventually have hypertension. And it may not matter if you are “salt-sensitive” or not. Too much sodium prompts your body to hold on to more fluid (to “dilute’ the extra saltiness), this increases blood volume, forcing your heart to pump harder with every beat and putting extra stress on blood vessel walls. Small wonder people with high blood pressure are at high risk of heart attacks and strokes! But that isn’t all. A high-sodium diet can thin your bones, boost your risk of gastric cancer, and worsen lung function in people with exercise-induced asthma – a condition that plagues 9 out of 10 people with asthma, studies show.
The biggest Youth robbers? Condiments, processed meats and cheeses, canned beans and vegetables, salad dressings and pickles.
So what can you do to reduce your sodium today? Here are some suggestions:
Automatically toss all “flavor packets” and “spice mixes” that come with cook at home grain dished. These are mostly salt any way. Instead invest in several sodium free spice blends.
Always buy natural or reduced sodium cheese.
Never eat canned beans or vegetables unless you’ve rinsed them twice. These canned products can carry one-fifth of your daily sodium allotment, up to 500 milligrams per half cup.
Make your own salad dressing. Bottled salad dressings contain up to 620 milligrams of sodium in a single 2-tablespoon serving.
Eat real meat instead of lunch meats, hot dogs, bacon and sausage. A single slice of deli ham packs 350 milligrams of sodium. One strip of bacon, 192 milligrams.
Eat cucumbers, not pickles. A single dill pickle can pack up to 830 milligrams of sodium!
Toss the blood pressure time bomb condiments like soy sauce, garlic & onion salts and even bouillon cubes pack as much as 1,200 milligrams of sodium in them.
Finally, the most obvious, shake less sodium in the kitchen – and at the table. It is best to use Kosher salt in recipes because it is coarser, so it doesn’t pack as tightly in a measuring spoon, and for your dinner table, it is best to not even place the salt shaker on the table at all. Out of sight, out of mind.
Giving you the most current and up to date advice on living a longer and active life.
The contents of this website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained here (the “Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The Content is not suitable for self-administration without regular monitoring by a qualified medical doctor in a supervised program. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in our Content.