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Healthy Hearts Webinar Series (April – May 2022): 05 – Salt and Cardiovascular Risk

Idongesit Obeye gives the presentation on sodium and your heart. She talks about understanding how sodium affects you, learning about common sources of sodium, and identifying steps to reduce your sodium intake. Bouba and Stephanie facilitate the Q&A following. Then, Maria and Idongesit, the Heart of Giant nurses, answer questions from the Q.
After viewing this webinar, you will have a clear understanding of the risks associated with sodium, what sodium can do to your body, and the actions to take to reduce sodium for a healthier life. 

1:46 Idongesit gives an overview of the webinar
2:39 Did you know this about sodium? 
3:27 Sodium and your Body
3:44 Reducing sodium in your diet can help lower blood pressure.
4:35 Too much sodium puts your health at risk
4:50 Diverse Groups at higher risk for high blood pressure
6:02 How much is too much sodium?
6:59 What is the difference between sodium and salt
7:48 Six popular foods that can add high levels of sodium to your diet
8:35 Where does the sodium we eat come from?
9:17 Common sources of sodium
11:15 Sodium on nutrition fact label
12:56 Reducing your sodium intake
14:13 Understand Food Packaging
21:33 Look for the heart checkmark
18:09 Heart-Healthy Diet Tips
19:49 When cooking at home tips
21:12 When eating out tips
22:26Check your medications
24:06 Q&A

Too much sodium puts your health at risk (4:35)
Excess sodium can cause:
Enlarged heart muscles
Headaches
Kidney disease
Osteoporosis
Stroke
Heart failure
Kidney stones
Stomach cancer

Diverse Groups at higher risk for high blood pressure (4:50)
– Over 57% of non-Hispanic black people have High blood pressure
– Among Hispanic people, 44% have High blood pressure
– Over 41% of Asian Americans have High blood pressure

How much is too much sodium? (6:02)
– Most adults consume more than 3,400 mg (0.120 oz) of sodium a day.
– The American heart association recommends no more than 2,300 mg (0.0058oz) a day, moving toward an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg (0.053oz) per day for most adults.
– Cutting back by even 1,000mg (0.035oz) a day can improve blood pressure and heart health.

What is the difference between sodium and salt (6:59)

Sodium 
Sodium is a mineral that?s essential for life
Helps your body fluid balance
Sodium helps send nerve impulses and affects muscle function.

Salt
Table salt is about 40% sodium and 60% chloride.
Salt and sodium are commonly used interchangeably.
To find out the amount of ?salt? in food, check the ?sodium? content on the label.

Where does the sodium we eat come from? (8:35)

Most of the sodium we eat comes from packaged, processed, and restaurant foods.
Processed foods are packaged in boxes, cans, and or bagged foods.
Packaging foods are ready-to-eat convenience items such as prepared meals, gravy mixes, canned soups, and cake mixes.
Restaurants often rely on processed foods in their food prep.

Understand Food Packaging (14:13)
Sodium-free: Less than 5 milligrams of sodium per serving and contains no sodium chloride
Very low sodium: 35 milligrams or less per serving
Low sodium: 140 milligrams or less per serving
Reduced (or less) sodium: At least 25 percent less sodium per serving than the usual sodium level.
Light (for sodium-reduced products)
Light in sodium: The sodium is reduced by at least 50% per serving

Closing Message

  • Follow an overall heart-healthy diet https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living
  • When cooking at home, use less salt when cooking and seasoning food, try salt-free seasonings, and use herbs, spices, vinegar, fresh limes, and lemons to add flavor.
  • When eating out, search menus before you go to see if they have foods with less sodium; look for healthy designation symbols on the menu and have it your way to ask for food to be prepared without added salt or high-sodium ingredients. 

Learn more about Healthy Hearts Communities ?I Am Because We Are.?

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Resources in this Webinar

https://www.empoweredtoserve.org/en/
https://www.ewg.org/
https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living
https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/company-collaboration/heart-check-certification/heart-check-in-the-grocery-store/certified-foods-in-the-grocery-store

Here are some key moments in the discussion:

2:58 Idongesit ?Sodium added to food outside of the home accounts for more than two-thirds of the total sodium intake in the US? During the pandemic, talking about outside of the home, unknowingly or knowingly. We have mostly dependent on takeouts to make the food taste better or to appeal to your taste buds. Salt is added in excess amounts. More than 70% of sodium consumed is from processed, packaged, and restaurant foods. So your chips, some candy even, some sodas and soft drinks. They do have high sodium content.?

4:04 Idongesit ?When you have too much sodium or salt in your body, you give your heart extra work. Your body’s retaining water dilutes some of that sodium circulating in your body. And that leaves you feeling sluggish. Your heart is pumping extra fast to get all the sodium out and over a long term, you will see the effects. Some people may end up getting diagnosed with high blood pressure or heart disease of some sort.?

5:20 Idongesit ?We use a lot of seasonings in our foods, and some of those seasonings are very high, salt content. So with everything contributes. You are salting your food while you’re cooking, you add, a seasoning cube or whatever else is customary to add to your food. All these ingredients and all these flavorings have sodium content. In combination, it can be too much.?

11:56 Idongesit on understanding food packaging ?Pay attention to the serving size. How much is a serving? Is it half the can, two-thirds, a quarter of the can pay attention to that.?

22:08  Idongesit on having meals prepped with less salt ?It is your body. You only have one. If you’re going to a sit-down restaurant, ask for a healthy menu; if they don’t have one, when you’re ordering, ask for low sodium preparation of your meal; it is okay to do that.?

25:03 Idongesit on how to measure your salt intake? ?So a teaspoon of salt will be like the amount of sodium that is recommended for the whole day. Which is about 2300mg a day. It’s difficult to measure that because you cannot dump the salt in your soda into a teaspoon.

You cannot dump the salt in your soup into a teaspoon. So the one thing to do, which can sound tasking, but over time would become second nature, is to keep an eye on the sodium content of everything you consume. One thing that I used to tell my dad when I was doing diabetes education, is that get in the habit of writing everything you put in your mouth down on paper.?

29:25 Maria on how to measure your salt intake? ?There’s a lot of hidden salt in a lot of our foods. So we have to make sure that we take those into account when we are keeping track of how much sodium we’re taking in. Because you can say, okay, I’m going to add this one tablespoon to my rice, but you may be having vegetables, and then you’re sprinkling salt on that or drinking something that has sodium in it.?

31:35 Maria on how to reduce sodium without sacrificing flavor ?Flavor is very important because it’s one way that we enjoy our food. But there are so many other things that can give flavor to your food. For example, herbs, spicy, like peppers, onions, vegetables, all of that you can add. You can make your own broth at home, and that way, you can control how much salt is going into that. Adding your own spices, you can substitute; instead of putting salt, you can use cumin or turmeric. All of these things can add flavor to your food and paprika. So go out there and look for natural herbs and spices and substitute them for salt.?

35:54 Maria on Does salt affect kids the same way? ?This is the first century where we have started to see children being affected by diabetes and hypertension. We have so many children who are now being monitored for high blood pressure. And 10 years ago, this was not something that we used to do. It’s all because of the culture and food we eat in obesity in the United States. Sodium affects them the same way it would affect an adult. So if your child is overweight and your child is eating a lot of sodium. They can retain fluid, and they can have higher blood pressure. We want to teach them at an early age about eating the rainbow and eating healthy and having an active lifestyle.?

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