Watch those silent killers

The Citizen (KZN) - - SPORT -

Sugar has been given a bad rap over the years and right­fully so since it’s lit­er­ally a silent killer. Vil­lains un­for­tu­nately don’t work alone and even though there is now a tax on sugar, you don’t need to look too far to see which su­per vil­lain comes close sec­ond. May I in­tro­duce you to Mr Overindul­gent Sodium who has been a good friend of yours and a best friend to oth­ers.

What is the deal with sodium, or salt? Food com­pa­nies know how ad­dic­tive sugar is and the more sugar you add to some­thing, the more you are go­ing to love their prod­uct and the more you will buy. The prob­lem is, when you add that much sugar and noth­ing else it be­comes un­palat­able, so food com­pa­nies add huge amounts of sodium to sug­ary drinks, for ex­am­ple, which makes it less sweet. Twice the ad­dic­tion at half the per­ceived sweet­ness.

It is im­por­tant to un­der­stand how much you are al­lowed of some­thing a day and then be vig­i­lant as to how much food you con­sume per day and then track the amount of sodium in each of your meals. Ed­u­cat­ing your­self on the rec­om­mended daily al­lowance and what you eat will most likely save your life down the line.

As an adult you are al­lowed 2 300mg per day, or 2.3grams. This is only about a three-quar­ter tea­spoon of salt per day. It is crit­i­cally im­por­tant to have sodium in your diet but not over-do it by mak­ing silly choices like con­sum­ing food ab­nor­mally high in sodium such as pro­cessed foods, bread, so­das, and pizza to name a few.

Too much sodium can cause havoc in your body and lead to ill­nesses such as hy­per­ten­sion (high blood pres­sure), bone loss, kid­ney dis­ease and stom­ach can­cer. Hav­ing said that, there are also dan­gers as­so­ci­ated with too lit­tle sodium in­take which in­creases the chances of heart dis­ease, in­creases symp­toms of de­pres­sion and raises in­sulin re­sis­tance.

It is im­por­tant to note that you need sodium daily for healthy bod­ily func­tion­ing but the point I want to get across is that you don’t need to overdo it with the sodium. Ac­cord­ing to the Cen­tre for Con­trolled Dis­ease, Amer­i­cans have, on av­er­age, 5 000 mil­ligrams of sodium per day which is dou­ble the rec­om­mended daily al­lowance.

With the right amounts of sodium in­take daily, this will al­low your body to func­tion at peak per­for­mance by bal­anc­ing flu­ids in the body, help­ing with send­ing nerve im­pulses, mus­cle con­trac­tion, pro­mote sun­stroke and im­prov­ing brain func­tion and main­tain­ing the right acid base bal­ance in your body.

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