Having experienced benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) and then discovering my blood pressure was residing north of 220/130, I’ve become more mindful about my food and nutrition. (BP is now hovering around 136/70 now, thanks.) Searching for foods that are benevolent to my prostate, I read recommendations about celery. In my own tests, I felt that the results bore this out; eating a stalk of celery each day seemed to please my prostate.
However, I read, beware: celery has high levels of sodium. Oh, dear, don’t want that; sodium is bad for blood pressure. Wanting hard information, I hunted the net and discovered that a stalk of celery can have as much as almost thirty milligrams of sodium.
That didn’t strike me as high. As far as I could tell, that was pretty low, as long as I wasn’t eating stalks by the minute. Thinking about it more returned me more net searching about sodium levels in food.
The U.S. government’s nutrition guideline recommends that people keep their daily sodium intake below twenty-three hundred milligrams a day. There’s a big gap betweeny celery’s thirty and twenty-three hundred. For a food to be considered low sodium, it should have one hundred forty milligrams per serving, or least. Calling celery high in sodium compared to that seemed excessive.
Which prompted me to hunt for common food’s sodium levels. Fortunately, many websites eagerly compile and post this information. The American Heart Association provided a summary of the CDC’s findings in 2017. From that, they created a list of the twenty-five most hazardous foods for sodium levels in the U.S. It’s a disturbing list. They then distilled the list into the top ‘Salty Six’:
- Breads and rolls
- Sandwiches, including burgers
- Cold cuts and cured meats
- Canned soup
- Tacos and burritos
These are foods that I was frequently eating. I was checking fat, sugar, and fiber levels but ignoring the sodium levels. Now, it was like, holy crap. Gotta check those sodium levels, too.
I know, this is a post by the converted. I respect that response, but my ignorance went on until it was an emergency. Just thought I’d share my experience and maybe keep you from stumbling down the same path.
On the bright side, I found that beer and wine do not typically have much sodium. There’s some in them, with beer typically have eight to twelve milligrams of sodium per sixteen ounces, and most domestic red wines containing twelve milligrams per glass (imported red wines have about six milligrams); mindfulness about how much is being consumed — and what else is being consumed that day — is required.
Just like with celery.
You’re now free to resume your normal day.