The average sodium intake is almost double what it was fifty years ago. A faster paced society, working parents, busy schedules and a need for convenience are some of the reasons for this increase. No only are pre-made grocery store items full of sodium, but restaurants have packed their items full too! Families today eat out several times a week, and in the past it was save for special occasions. Restaurant meals commonly have two to three times the amount of sodium needed in one day.
Fifty years ago, the mother was the main family member who would prepare fresh meals for the family. But because of today's fast paced society and increased incidence of two working parents, many people rely on convenience and ready to eat meals. This is helpful for families with busy schedules, but can add quite a bit of sodium to your daily intake.
If you rely on pre-made sauce mixes, canned items, frozen foods and pre-made deli meats to prepare your dinners, you may be adding too much sodium to your meals. A typical frozen pizza or entrée can contain between 600-1,000 milligrams of sodium per serving. Read the nutrition labels on the back of packages to avoid buying products with added sodium, sugar and fats. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, and buy fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh meats, and dairy.
Plan your meals at the beginning of the week and prep as much as you can before the busy week starts. Chop and slice fruits and vegetables, cook grains, and roast potatoes or chicken so you'll have fresh items ready to go. Invest in a couple of easy cookbooks and go have fun in the kitchen!
Many over-the-counter medications contain sodium, in the form of sodium bicarbonate or sodium biphosphate. Two of the popular antacid tablets contain over 1,000 milligrams of sodium. Other medications that contain sodium are laxatives, antibiotics and pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen. Sodium is required to be listed on drug labels. Ask your pharmacist for help choosing a lower-sodium over-the-counter medication.
Physicians are members of the medical staff at one of Baylor Scott & White Health's subsidiary, community or affiliated medical centers and are neither employees nor agents of those medical centers, Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital – Plano or Baylor Scott & White Health.