Jolene Vanderzyl, a Regstered Dietitian with Sugar Lakes Family Practice, will join Dr. Galati tonight to discuss the problem of excessive dietary sodium (salt) in the American diet. For the past five years, we have been discussing the salt problem in our food, and while there have been some strides in changing our behavior, educating the general public is still priority number one.
Salt is everywhere in the food we eat. A day does not pass where I am instructing my own patients, as well as their family, on how to maintain a low sodium diet. For patients with advanced liver disease and cirrhosis, we strive for a diet with no more than 2000 mg of sodium daily. In some cases, we need to go even lower. There is always great confusion regarding salt and sodium, and the foods to stay away from. Many times, patients will state "I haven't used salt in years", yet on a quick scan of their diet history, they are well over 2000 mg. How does this happen, you ask? I do not doubt the patient is telling the truth and retired their salt shaker years ago, yet the sodium content of prepared foods is huge, and this is what throws most everyone over the limit. Eating out regularly, or consuming prepared foods that you nuke, are all loaded with sodium. In addition, both of these activities will lead to obesity.
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