Yes, May is Stroke Awareness Month, and not smoking, maintaining a lean weight, leading an active life and choosing a more plant-based diet will reduce your risk for strokes. But a study reported in the professional journal Stroke reminds us of the importance of keeping sodium intake down.
The Northern Manhattan Project examined the diets of >2600 participants for more than 10 years. And ta-da…
the higher the sodium intake, the greater the risk for having a stroke.
More study results:
- 88% consumed more than the American Heart Association guideline for less than <1,500 milligrams of sodium per day.
- There was a 17% increased stroke risk with every 500 mg increase in sodium above the recommendation.
- Taking in >4,000 mg/day of sodium = BIG stroke risk!
Those study participants who had the highest sodium intake …
- were heavier in weight,
- drank more alcohol
- took in more calories, total fat and saturated fat
Bottom line: Cut your sodium intake to keep your blood pressure in good control and reduce your risk for having a stroke!
Kitchen tips to reduce sodium:
- Bring home foods that say: No Salt Added or Sodium Free or Reduced Sodium
- Make more recipes from scratch to control the ingredients.
- Omit the salt called for in recipes.
- Use seasonings that do not have a salt base. For example, onion powder rather than onion salt.
- Herbs and spices can replace salt in many recipes.
- Rinse canned vegetables, canned legumes and canned tuna in a strainer to discard more of the added salt.