By Emma Brownell
Do you avoid red meat? Opt for local? Know what “the dirty dozen” means -- and always buy organic? Me too. Unfortunately, it turns out that’s not enough.
A new study links overconsumption of sodium with heart disease, heart attack and stroke. It’s estimated that the effects of too much salt cost the U.S. between $10 billion and $24 billion a year.
More research into the role of sodium indicates that red meat – when not salted – is actually better for you than that ham sandwich. Why? Cured meats – including lunchmeats and hot dogs -- are loaded with sodium (on average, 4 times that of red meat). Researchers believe that it is this sodium – along with the nitrates and nitrites that preserve the meats – that leads to the associated increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.
If you think – No worries, I rarely pick up the saltshaker, and I’m not a big fan of cured meats – you’re not actually out of the woods. After learning of these studies' findings, I did a quick survey of my fridge and pantry. You may want to too. Here’s what I found:
So what to do?
A note – in taking these tips to heart, don’t eliminate all sodium from your diet. A little bit of sodium is essential for health. Learn more about sodium – the good and the bad – at MayoClinic.com.
Emma Brownell is the editorial manager for The Women's Conference website.