Jerry never thought much about how much salt was in the food he ate. He thought he was eating a fairly healthy diet. He paid attention to fat content, made sure he ate a helping of vegetables with his dinner, and didn’t eat a lot of sweets. But, when his doctor informed him that his blood pressure was higher than normal and recommended lifestyle changes, Jerry began to take notice of what he ate. Jerry was shocked to discover that he was eating nearly twice the recommended amount of sodium.
Here’s the thing: Jerry’s not alone. According to the American Heart Association, the average American eats more than double the amount of sodium they should each day. The problem with this is that excess sodium is linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, and kidney issues.
Recommended Sodium Intake
The upper limit for sodium intake recommended by the American Heart Association is 2,300 mg per day. However, they say it’s even better for most adults to limit their sodium consumption to no more than 1,500 mgs per day.
You might think that limiting sodium intake is as simple as putting away the salt shaker, but the truth is that most of the sodium in a person’s diet comes from processed foods and foods eaten in restaurants. Unfortunately, most people have no idea how much sodium their eating. In a survey conducted by the American Heart Association, one third of the 1,000 participants were unable to estimate their sodium intake. 54 percent thought they were eating 2,000 mg or less, though the average American eats closer to 3,400 mgs each day.
Monitoring Sodium Intake
So, how can you know how your parent is doing in terms of sodium intake? One way is to track the foods they eat. Use the nutritional labels on foods to determine how much sodium is in their meals and snacks. You can track foods in a notebook or by using an online tracker. The benefit of using an online tracker is that there are many available that keep track of all kinds of nutritional information, including salt. Often the act of tracking food can be very eye opening, alerting you to all sorts of nutritional trends and helping to make healthier choices all around.
If you’re concerned about your parent’s sodium intake, it may be helpful to hire an elderly care provider to assist them with food preparation. Some seniors find cooking difficult or a nuisance, which can lead to eating foods they consider “easy.” Often the easiest foods to eat are those that are highly processed and contain a great deal of salt. An elderly care provider can help your parent to grocery shop and prepare healthy meals. An elderly care provider can also assist with tracking foods, helping you to monitor your parent’s sodium intake.
If You Or An Aging Loved One Are Considering Hiring Elderly Care in Gulfport, FL, Please Contact The Caring Staff At Assisting Hands Home Care Today! 727-748-4211.