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Tara Sanders–The Shake on Sodium

Posted May 19th, 2010 by Allyson

The Shake on Sodium:

Myth or Fact: “I’m young and I don’t have high blood pressure therefore I don’t need to be concerned about my sodium intake.”

MYTH!  According to the American Heart Association, a high sodium diet can contribute to high blood pressure…at any age.  Particularly vulnerable are those who are “salt sensitive” and have a tendency to retain water after a high sodium meal.  When we retain water we put extra stress on our heart and kidneys and over time, this puts individuals at higher risk for heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. Currently, 1 in 3  Americans adults over 20 suffer from hypertension.

The American Heart Association recommends limiting your daily sodium intake to no more than 2,300 milligrams per day. (There is about 2,400 mg in a teaspoon of salt.)

Some studies estimate that up to 75% of American’s sodium intake comes from packaged convenience foods and from dining out.  Looking for ways to keep your sodium intake “in check” while eating in the UHDS dining centers?  Consider these strategies:

1)Check the sodium content of your favorite options on the on line menus:

2)If you typically eat three meals/day try to eat less than 800mg of sodium per meal.

3)Add little or no salt to your plate.

4)Fill half of your plate with whole foods that are naturally low in sodium such as whole fresh fruits and fresh raw or steamed vegetables.

5) Consider your portion size particularly with high sodium foods like pizza or deli lunch meat.  Instead of a whole ham sandwich, consider a half sandwich and pair it with a side salad and fresh fruit.

6) Be aware of additional sources of sodium found in sauces, soy sauce and salad dressings.

7) Snacks like chips, granola bars and crackers can pack a lot of sodium; instead, while you are in the dining center, grab a fresh crisp apple or baby carrots to snack on later.

Be Well,


Tara Sanders

Registered Dietitian

Oregon State University

University Housing and Dining

Office: 541-737-3915

Cell: 541-602-9736

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