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March 31, 2019: Sodium

My weekly Get Your Stuff Together Sunday email series gives you one actionable focus for the week that will make your life a little easier.

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Many packaged food makers load on the salt in their “healthy” food products - sometimes even more than the regular non-diet versions. When you’re just trying to make smart choices, this sabotages your efforts without you realizing it. Sigh. This week, we’re going to talk about the health effects of sodium, what happens when you have too much in your diet, and where you might find a sodium overload.

We Need Sodium

Sodium intake in America is at an all-time high. The average intake is 3,400 mg a day when only 1,500-2,300 mg is recommended. Going too low-sodium isn’t a good idea, though, since the appropriate amount of sodium intake can be beneficial by helping regulate blood pressure and volume. Sodium assists muscles and nerves with muscular contraction and transmitting nerve signals. It also accommodates a regular blood pH level, a good health indicator.

The Risks of Too Much Sodium

Excessive sodium intake contributes to high blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, and congestive heart failure. Your kidneys work to remove extra sodium from your body, but if they can't effectively get rid of it, blood volume increases causing your heart to work harder. This creates additional pressure on the arteries, resulting in high blood pressure. Too much salt can also cause your body to retain fluids which causes swelling in the feet, ankles, and hands, weight fluctuations, and a larger abdomen. Long term fluid retention can be a sign of heart failure, kidney disease, lung disease, and arthritis.

You Can Fix It!

The effects of an inordinate amount of sodium can be reversed. Paying attention to and avoiding some of the big-time offenders like processed foods, frozen meals, chips, pizza, canned soups, deli meats, breads, and condiments can make a difference in the intake. I’d bet some of those offenders surprised you. Make sure you take a look at your labels.

Spices and herbs are a healthier way to boost flavor and have amazing health benefits. Research shows common herbs and spices help to protect against inflammation, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Cinnamon, chili peppers, turmeric, garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary were proven to have a significant amount of antioxidants, so much so that even dried herbs still contain a notable amount. Dried herbs and spices have decent shelf lives and can be added to almost anything. Reputable companies offer mixtures of salt free herbs and spices that take your food from bland to bam with a few shakes. One company I really like is Penzy’s because of their quality and fun blends.

Next Sunday, we’ll talk about drinking more water.

Want some expert help with reaching your health goals painlessly? Check out my programs! We’ll get everything taken care of in a way that fits into your current lifestyle so you never have to think about your health again.

Do you have a friend who could stand to G(her)ST? Feel free to forward this!

I hope you have a wonderful week,


Kelly Morgan, Ph.D.

Tsirona -

My weekly GYSTS email give you one actionable thing to do for the week that will make you life a little easier. As "they" say, "Fail to plan; plan to fail." Get these emails (and more!) delivered right to your inbox by clicking HERE.