About 70 million American have hypertension – roughly 29% of the country’s population. Furthermore, nearly 1 in 3 adults are prehypertensive. In total, the annual cost of high blood pressure is $46 billion dollars. Excessive sodium intake correlates positively with high blood pressure, and a recent report by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) found that more than 70% of pizzas, pasta mixed dishes and meat mixed dishes, and 50% to 70% of cold cuts, soups and sandwiches exceeded recommended sodium levels per serving set forth by the FDA.
Sodium intake can be easily monitored by checking food labels and avoiding dining out – as both processed foods and restaurant meals can contain excess sodium. Furthermore, balancing sodium intake with potassium is essential in maintaining homeostasis. Foods that contain higher relative levels of potassium include tomatoes, bananas and meat.