(WJBK) - Do you have any idea how much sodium you're taking in everyday? The answer might be more than you think.
Here's the problem: When there's extra sodium in your bloodstream, it pulls water into your blood vessels, increasing the total volume of fluid and blood pressure increases. It's like turning up the water supply to a garden hose. Processed foods and dining out are the biggest problems.
Not only is high sodium bad for your heart, it can make you retain water or give you bags under your eyes. The American Heart Association recommends that you aim to eat less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day. However, the average American eats more than double that.
The American Heart Association came out with its list of The Salty Six, the most common foods that are high in sodium and how to make better choices.
1. Breads and rolls
Each serving may not seem high, but if you have toast for breakfast. then a sandwich for lunch, then a roll with dinner it can add up. So just be sure to check the labels. For example, two slices of this bread is about 500 milligrams of sodium.
2. Cold cuts and cured meats
Six thin slices of deli meat can have as much a half a day's worth of sodium.
Just a slice with several toppings can contain half a day's worth of sodium. Limit the cheese and add more veggies to the next slice.
Varies based on the way you prepare it, so it's important to make wise choices.
Salt in one cup of canned soup can have as much as 940 milligrams -- that's nearly your entire days worth of recommended sodium.
A sandwich or burger from a fast food restaurant can also contain nearly your entire day's worth of sodium.
To combat sodium, eat foods with potassium, drink water, exercise and find other ways to season your food, maybe with pepper, garlic, basil, lemon, etc.