Where We Need To Go

What is 2000-1500 ?

That's my number and probably for alot of you, your number too. What number you ask, it's your MAXIMUM sodium intake for a 24 hour period.

For me it means, my maximum sodium intake for 24 hours is 2,000 Milograms of salt/sodium, however it is preferred that I only have an intake of 1,500 milograms of salt/sodium in a 24 hour period that will allow my heart to evactuate the water with less stress on my heart.
It is quite possible, depending on your condition your number could be 1000 milogram max.

These Are Our "Magic Numbers"!!!

Before we can work to achieve our goal numbers while eating smart, healthy and flavorful every day there are some things you should really know about salt/sodium and your heart. It will make it easier to understand "why" everything we do is so critical.

The Big Three Must Knows!

Where Salt/Sodium Goes, Water Follows

Water inevitably follows sodium, and as the volume of this fluid increases, so does the volume of blood. This means more work for the heart and more pressure on blood vessels. Over time, this can stiffen blood vessels, leading to high blood pressure, heart attack, or stroke. It can also lead to heart failure. In other words Your heart is not strong enough to expel excess water that is following the salt/sodium in your blood. This leads to heart failure. In order to keep that from happening, we eat a low sodium diet to minimize the intake of sodium that first goes to hearts and greatly reducing the amount of water that is created by it. You may also be told that you have a liquid intake limit per 24 hours as well. Mine is 64 oz. and that includes broth from soup, Italian water ices (my favorites) coffee, tea etc. You will be  told to weigh yourself everyday and be on the look out for symptoms of heart failure caused by high sodium intake or high fluid intake. These symptoms include but are not limited to 2-3 pound weight gain within 24 hours, swelling of the hands, feet,ankles and belly, shortness of breath are the most and easiest to recognize, and you should always be on the look out for them.

Your Heart and the Spin Cycle Effect

Just how does the water that follows Salt/Sodium get removed from your heart? This is how it was explained to me and makes a lot of sense. Think of your heart as a washing machine and the water is removed just like a spin cycle of that machine. In this case there are multiple tubs that the water is spun off into. A normal heart has the power to spin off water very effectively to all the tubs it needs to to keep your body safe, mainly moving the water to the outtermost tubs which are the kidneys. When we have a heart condition, as one that places you on a low sodium diet this is much harder to do. Your heart does try to spin the water to the correct areas, but isn't strong enough to move larger amounts of water to where is needs to be. One of the main reasons we are on a low sodium diet is to create a minimum amount of water that makes it easier for a compromised heart to spin it off effectively. Ideally we want our heart to be able to spin the water all the way out to the kidney tub were we can pass it. If we have to high of a sodium intake and as we know "water follows" your heart fills up with water, it tries to spin it off, but isn't strong enough to move it far so it only goes into the lung, or extermities tub and we have a real issue. That issue is called Heart Failure. We are given medicines we take every day to help our heart with this water removal function that are called diuretics or "water pills" They are dosed on a case by case need and can often be adjusted as time passes.

Salt/Sodium Loves To Play Hide-&-Seek

Not to mention, it's really good at it. Just when you think you have it all figured out you look down at your ankles and they are slighly swollen. You scratch your head and ponder, "I know all my numbers are right, where did I go wrong"? It will happen, just the change of a vendor at your supermarket can cause that to happen. Here is an example. I was making chicken wings, my concern was the sauce, I worked the recipe to make the sauce a very tasty, yet LoSo offering. I had the first batch in the fryer and opened the bag of wings my daughter bought to start the second batch when I noticed that these wings were not the standard 75mg per 4 oz wings I based my meal size on they were actually 280 mg per 4 oz wings packed in salt brine to ship. That's a 200 mg upswing in the amount of salt/sodium per every 4 oz. Had I eaten the amount of wings I planned on thinking I was at 75 mg per 4 oz. I would have caused myself a huge problem. Frozen veggies can be the same way. Although a very good and tasty replacement for canned vegetables you need to make sure you look at the nutrition label before you buy. They are mostly in the 15-25 mg range but off brands want to have a longer self life will packed their veggies in a salt brine that will very significantly raise the sodium/salt level, Another place salt/sodium loves to hide is in over the counter medicines. Some medicines are loaded with salt/sodium. Two great examples are laxatives and heartburn medicine such as Tums. Always check with your Cardiologists before using any over the counter or non prescribed medicines, and always take the extra sec to look at every nutrition label on the food you are buying to make sure you are safe.