Sodium is an electrolyte that contributes to the balance of fluids within the human body. The necessary intake of sodium is not high but, thanks to the modern diet, we end up consuming way more than it is necessary. Unfortunately, a high-sodium diet is associated with additional health risks, including high blood pressure, heart and kidney disease, as well as stroke.
As there is a clear correlation between the consumption of sodium and the elevated blood pressure (R), keeping track of the salt content of each food might be more than recommended. You can see what are the foods leading to your high-sodium diet and make the necessary adjustments. Upon the overall intake of salt being reduced, the blood pressure will begin to return to normal in just a few weeks.
Using CareClinic as a sodium tracker app
CareClinic is a health app which can be used to keep track your overall sodium intake. You can record your entire diet and the associated salt content of each food, thus watching out for how much sodium you consume on a daily basis. This will allow you to keep tabs on all of your meals, as well as the amount of salt in each of them and its effects on your general health.
You can use CareClinic as a sodium tracker app and record your meals, entering the date and time, as well as the food, amount of sodium and associated effects. The application is easy and simple to use, and you can even rely on it to set up daily goals for your salt consumption.
Even though sodium is an essential nutrient, we do not need to consume a generous amount to stay healthy. Using an app such as CareClinic to keep track of your sodium intake is more than recommended, as a high-sodium diet has been associated with high blood pressure and a higher risk of stroke, as well as heart failure.
The increased consumption of salt can damage other organs, increasing the chances of chronic kidney disease, osteoporosis and even cancer. People of all ages are advised to keep track of their sodium intake (R), as the high-sodium diet leads to chronic blood pressure. This condition is often known as the silent killer, as it has no noticeable symptoms but it damages arteries, vital organs, etc.
When using CareClinic as your sodium tracker, you will finally see how much salt your diet contains. You can go to the health diary and record your daily meals – for example, you might have had a muffin for breakfast, soup at lunch and spaghetti at dinner. Add the sodium info and how the food made you feel – bloating is often a sign of high-sodium content.
Thanks to such health apps, you will finally be able to see how much salt you are consuming and the effects it has on your health. As you will be able to record additional symptoms that bother you and identify potential health problems, you will get an idea about the lifestyle changes to be made. Sometimes, even a small adjustment can make a big difference and help you improve your health.
The application allows you to enter all of your health problems, along with symptoms, potential causes/risk factors and treatments. You can use it to identify a connection between the diet and your high blood pressure, as well as to see which treatments might work to your benefit. The data entered into the application is compiled into a monthly health report, which can be shared with the treating physician.
CareClinic can help you observe the general dietary sodium intake. You can use the application to record your natural foods and the amount of salt contained in each, as well as the added salt (preparation & serving) and salt resulting from processed foods (this often accounts for the majority of your intake, given the high content of sodium).
Additional benefits of the CareClinic health app
Apart from using CareClinic to keep track of your overall sodium intake, you can use the app to create a self-care action plan. This means that you can add all of your medical information and other details into the app – including with regard to your diet, physical activities and sleep. You can include a comprehensive treatment plan and make notes on various therapies.
If you suffer from high blood pressure, as a result of a high-sodium diet, you probably have to follow a complex treatment plan. With the help of CareClinic, you can ensure the treatment adherence and maintain your blood pressure within stable limits. It is worth mentioning that you can set up reminders for each medication in particular, as well as specific reminders for doctor appointments.
The health diary of CareClinic allows you to record information about your daily meals and sodium intake, but also about any other health problems you might be experiencing. You can record, for example, if you felt dizzy as a result of your oscillating blood pressure if physical activity affects your overall status and mention other potentially-useful health measurements (such as body weight).
You can add your care team into the application so that you can share your health-related information with family members and caregivers. There are special caregiver alerts offered through the application, which can be used for missed treatments. Moreover, you can share the progress reports with the care team and discuss your overall health status (including with regard to the sodium intake and blood pressure values).
Sodium levels vary in the same foods
In tracking how much salt is contained in each of your meals, you might experience a little bit of difficulty, especially at first. This is because the level of sodium might differ in the same food that was prepared in another restaurant or purchased from a different store. You will have to do your research and educate yourself on making inquiries about the potential salt content.
If you are at a restaurant and the sodium content is not displayed on the menu, do not be afraid to ask the waiter for this information. As for the stores, you can use the Internet and check the sodium content yourself. Always check the nutrition label before purchasing packaged foods and avoid those with a high content of sodium.
In the situation you are preparing the food in your own home, gather all of your ingredients and check the sodium content (R) in each of them. You can then return to your application and add the overall sodium intake. In analyzing the daily sodium consumption, do not forget to consider all the main meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), as well as any potential snacks.
The modern diet is rich in salt
According to the National Institute of Health, we should consume less than a teaspoon of salt per day; this means an average consumption of 2300 mg of salt. However, the majority of the foods present on the supermarket shelves are rich in salt, causing us to consume more sodium than needed and increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The American Heart Association has proposed an even lower rate of sodium, recommending an average of 1700 mg per day and highlighting the fact that most Americans consume at least twice that number. It is important to be aware of the fact that sodium is present in generous quantities in processed foods, as well as cold cuts or cured meats.
It is no surprise that packaged foods contain a high amount of salt, which is often hidden through vague terms. You have to read the label of each product carefully and pay attention to terms such as “soda”, “sodium” or even the simple “Na” abbreviation.
The moderate reduction of dietary salt has been shown not only to improve overall blood pressure values but also to offer major benefits with regard to cardiovascular health. It is not recommended to avoid the consumption of salt altogether, as sodium is an important nutrient and it contributes to the proper functioning of both muscles and nerves throughout the body.
When one maintains a diet rich in sodium, the kidneys are challenged to excrete all that extra salt (R). In turn, this will influence the blood pressure, adding pressure on both the heart and the kidneys. If this goes on for a long period of time, the risk of chronic kidney disease and heart failure becomes increasingly high (sodium balance is ensured by the kidneys).
It has been estimated that 2.3 million deaths occur each year as a result of high blood pressure associated with a high-sodium diet (this represents 4% of the worldwide mortality).
Salt is Essential but only in moderation
We use salt to season our food, to cook more savory meals and even to preserve various foods. However, the intake of salt has increased significantly since the development of processed foods.
Of course, salt is present in the majority of the foods that constitute part of our daily meals. It occurs naturally, but in small quantities, in fruits, vegetables, oils and cereals. Meat and fish contain a little bit more salt, but this is a natural occurrence as well (no added salt). Shellfish might contain higher quantities of salt, especially when it comes to oysters and mussels.
As salt is added to a wide range of food products nowadays, one does not need to worry about a potential sodium deficit. A healthy individual, who does not present additional medical issues, will not suffer from sodium deficiency (even if he/she would decide to follow a diet which is extremely low in sodium).
Most people nowadays consume more sodium than they need, often as a result of a diet based on processed foods (high quantities of salt added during the actual processing). The whole situation is made worse by the habit of adding high quantities of salt to homemade foods – during preparation but also at the table when serving.
The excess of dietary salt is one of the main contributing factors when it comes to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Processed foods (R) are the main culprits behind high-sodium diets, especially when it comes to deli meat, various types of cheese-based products and frozen foods (the latter contain significant quantities of salt).
Store-bought bread often contains a lot of salt, as this is falsely associated with flavor and taste. Even when one tries to maintain a balance and varied diet, that person will end up consuming more salt than it is necessary. The only solution remains to keep track of the overall sodium intake and make adjustments to the diet, in order to stay with the recommended limits.
To get started using CareClinic for tracking your sodium, click here.