There is a saying that when you take care of yourself, you’re taking care of more than yourself. The two food additives that, when eaten in excess, can lead to increase risk of weight gain and heart disease is sodium and sugar. Many adults are aware that you should reduce your intake of both, but are not certain of the amount that should be eaten per day or what amount is the proper meal planing amount.Let’s break this down for complete understanding to how to enjoy sodium and sugar but maintain a healthy weight and heart.
First let’s start with sodium, too much sodium in your diet can lead to high blood pressure and even increase your risk of heart disease. High consumption of sodium will also cause fluid retention and bloating. So, how much sodium should a person consume a day? The U.S. Department of Agricultural suggest a person younger than 51 years of age should have a daily amount of 2,300 milligrams or less sodium per day. However, if you’re older than 51 years of age or African-American decent your daily amount should be 1,500 milligrams or less per day.
Second is sugar, which is probably the most dangerous of the two. When you eat sugar in an excessive manner, sugar can lead to health problems, including diabetes and kidney stones.The American Heart Association recommends that men consume a maximum of 37.5 grams of sugar a day and that women a maximum of 25 grams of sugar per day. However, sugar can very tricky to measure, because it can be derived from multiple sources. First, you have your simple sugars, such as soft drinks, candies and baked goods. Second, you have your natural sugars,such as those found in fruits, can be healthier and easier for the body to digest than refined sugars. However, natural sugars can also cause damage. Third, you have the hidden sugar found in carbohydrates. This is made up of more than two simple sugars and referred to as a polysaccharide. Fifth you have sugar found in alcohol and is actually a carbohydrate named polyols with a chemical structure resembling a sugar. This all mean in order to accurately measure your sugar intake, you must factor all five sources of sugar. According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report, “healthy diets are high in carbohydrates”—45-65% of calories should come from carbohydrates depending on activity level. The report also suggests added sugar intake be limited to 25% or less of total calories. This breaks down to men should consume 120 grams of carbohydrates & 30.8 grams of sugar per day and women consume 150 grams of carbohydrates & 25 grams of sugar per day.
The best way to limit your sodium intake is to eliminate the table salt. You can also replace seasoned salts with salt free seasoning options found in any grocery store. You can also check the labels before purchasing canned items to make sure they do not contain sodium. Look for organic, all-natural and salt-free options when buying vegetables and tomato sauces that are packaged. The average American adult consumes the equivalent of about 35 teaspoons of sugar per day. Sugar has proven to be the number one food additive: it is added to beverages, often in the form of high-fructose corn syrup, to bread, sauces, dressings, and to all kinds of processed foods including many low-fat products. This mean in order to decrease your sugar intake always check the labels before purchasing and try to go sugar-free as much as you can.
Cutting down sodium and sugar in your diet may be one best actions you can take to improve your health and your weight.