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Did you know a fast food pizza or sandwich can contain over one hundred percent of the sodium you need per day? If you are like the majority of Americans, you may be taking far more sodium than your heart can handle.

The majority of people ingest approximately 3, 500 milligrams of sodium daily—a lot more than the 1, 500 milligrams recommended by the American Heart Association.  The reason is obvious: Sodium can be sneaky. It plants itself in your favorite pizza and poultry and burrows into bread and rolls. It slinks into soups and cozies up to cold cuts meats.

Sodium is a vital nutrient; however you do not need a lot in your daily diet. It accumulates so fast! For instance, a loaf of bread can contain as much as 230 milligrams of sodium, and a plateful of turkey cold cuts may have about 1, 000.

Why Keep Track Of Sodium Intake?

About 33% of US citizens have hypertension (or high blood pressure), and this can be linked to a high-sodium diet. In most individuals, the kidneys have problems managing the surplus sodium in the bloodstream. As sodium adds up, the body system retains water to dilute the sodium as discussed in an article done by Shape. This raises both the volume of fluid surrounding cells as well as the amount of blood in the bloodstream. The higher amount of blood the more work for the heart and more pressure on veins.

As time goes by, the extra work and pressure get the blood vessels tensed, resulting in high blood pressure, cardiac arrest, heart failure, and stroke. Moreover, there is certain evidence that an excessive amount of salt can damage the heart, kidneys, and aorta without increasing blood pressure levels, and that it can be harmful to bones, too.

So what can you do? Start tracking your sodium intake with a sodium tracker. It is a smart and easy way to monitor the amount of sodium you are getting in your diet. Simply write down the foods you eat and the accompanying sodium stats. Don’t forget that sodium levels can vary in the same food item based on the restaurant or brand.

Ultimately, it is easy to tally just how much sodium you ingested and that allows you to make better choices if necessary. Often a slight adjustment can produce great results when it comes to your health.