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Just What Is Sodium Anyway?
Sodium is an element that our bodies need to perform basic functions.
It helps maintain the right balance of fluids (including blood volume),
helps transmit nerve signals and helps with the contraction and relaxation of muscles.1
Sodium is found naturally and in varying quantities in most foods, including vegetables, milk, cheese, eggs, nuts, meat, fish and fruit.
It's also added to many processed foods to enhance and preserve flavor and texture.
So unlike some other essential nutrients, sodium is very easy to come by.
Your kidneys naturally balance the amount of sodium stored in your body for optimal health.
When your body sodium is low, your kidneys hold on to the sodium.
When body sodium is high, your kidneys excrete the excess in urine.
If your kidneys can't eliminate enough sodium, the sodium starts to build up in your blood.
Because sodium attracts and holds water, your blood volume increases, which makes your heart work harder and increases pressure in your arteries.2
We all need a balance of sodium in our bodies, but most people consume over 3,400 mg per day, more than the recommended amount.
To put that in perspective, there are about 2,325 mg of sodium in a teaspoon of salt.3
If you're an otherwise healthy adult, age plays a major factor in how much sodium your body needs.
There is sodium in food you might not expect, like breakfast cereals, salad dressings, condiments,
cheeses and even fresh chicken, which is often injected with salt water to help retain moisture and improve taste.
It's important to read labels to keep track of your intake.
There are many ways to add flavor to food while cooking that don't involve salt,
including fragrant herbs and spices, onion and garlic, lemon or lime juice, and black or cayenne pepper.
Cutting back on sodium gradually so your palate can adjust to the reduced amounts of salt can make it easier.
Smart Ones® wants to help you manage your sodium intake.
That's why over a third of our products contain 500 mg of sodium or less per serving.
Before starting any new eating regimen or diet, please consult with a healthcare professional.
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© 2017 H.J. Heinz Company Brands LLC. 2017. All Rights Reserved
The SmartPoints® value for this product was calculated by Kraft Heinz Foods Company and is provided for information purposes only. This is not an endorsement, sponsorship, or approval of this product or manufacturer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the Weight Watchers® and SmartPoints® trademarks.