While reducing sodium is a well-known protocol for combating hypertension, many people are not aware that high levels of Dietary sodium can also exacerbate joint stiffness and pain derived from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis and gout.
The average American consumes 3, 300 milligrams of sodium per day.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
How sodium affects arthritis
While there is no "diet" that can relieve the symptoms of arthritis or gout, in some people excess sodium It can worsen swelling and pain due to water retention, also known as edema. In addition, certain medications used to treat arthritis, such as corticosteroids, cause the body to retain more sodium.
The concentration of sodium in the body influences the fluid levels outside the cells. When there is too much sodium in the bloodstream, water is drawn out of the cells in order to dilute it. This produces an accumulation of fluids in and around the tissues and joints, producing pain and inflammation.
According to recent research from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average American consumes 3, 300 milligrams of sodium per day. This is significantly greater than the recommended amount for children and adults and more than double the recommended daily amount for people over 50.
U. S. Dietary Guidelines recommends a sodium intake of no more than 2, 300 mg per day for adolescents and adults. People over 50 and who suffer from hypertension, diabetes and kidney disease are recommended to consume no more than 1,500 mg per day.
To begin your journey towards reduction, it is important to know some quick facts:
• Foods and processed foods purchased in restaurants are responsible for most of the sodium we consume. • Both kosher salt and sea salt count as salt. • Most sodium is consumed in the form of sodium chloride (table salt). • 2400 mg of sodium equals approximately 1 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
What's on your food label
Read the nutrition facts panel on the labels of all foods, and pay particular attention to the amount of sodium, especially in prepared and packaged foods.
Here are what the terms on the labels mean:
• A product that is legitimately "low in sodium" can not have more than 140 mg of sodium per serving. • A container that says "reduced in sodium" or "less sodium" must contain 25% less sodium than the original version of that food. Light in sodium means that the product must contain 50% less sodium than the original.• "No salt" or "no salt added" simply means that no salt was added to the product during processing. That does not mean that the food is sodium-free. Look at the nutritional data panel to check the sodium content.
Quick tips for reducing salt and sodium
Reducing salt intake is really making some adjustments. Here are some simple tips:
• Choose fresh or frozen vegetables instead of canned ones. • Use fresh chicken, fish and lean meat instead of canned, smoked or processed. • Limit cured foods such as bacon and ham. • Limit foods packed in brine such as pickles, olives and sauerkraut. • Reduce instant rice or flavored rice, pasta and mixtures that normally have salt. • Rinse canned foods such as tuna and beans to remove some of the sodium. • Pay attention to the amount of salt you use when cooking and use an exact measurement. A pinch here and there can add up a lot. • Look for healthy alternatives to season your food. The American Heart Association recommends using garlic (not garlic salt), ginger, rosemary, basil and other herbs and spices to add flavor to meals without an excess of salt. • When eating out, ask the waiter if there are plates reduced in sodium or avoid adding extra salt. • Remove the salt shaker from the table; as they say "eyes that do not see, heart that does not feel".
About the author
Eilender is a speaker and writer of health sciences and lives in New Jersey.