Sodium is an important part of the daily diet as it helps regulate blood volume and plays a key role in helping with muscle contractions. Unfortunately, most people consume too much sodium in a given day which can eventually lead to some serious health concerns. While an increased sodium intake is bad for you, it’s even more of a health risk for seniors.
What’s the RDA?
The average person should have no more than 1.5 grams of sodium per day. If you’re in the age bracket of 51 to 70, this amount should not exceed 1.3 grams per day. For those who are older than 70 years of age, 1.2 should be the absolute maximum amount allowed. It’s harder for seniors’ bodies to maintain a balanced level of sodium, especially if they have diabetes or kidney disease.
Consuming Too Much
Allowing yourself to consume more than the recommended dietary allowance could spell disaster for your health. High blood pressure, stroke, kidney stones, kidney disease, congestive heart failure, and osteoporosis are some of the many conditions you can develop. To add even more risk, those who have consumed more than the RDA and were also sedentary were more likely to have decreased brain function and cognitive abilities.
How to Lower Your Intake
Many people consume an unhealthy level of sodium because of all the processed and packaged foods that use excessive sodium as a preservative. Instead, seniors should look to consume more unprocessed food. It’s time to ditch the frozen and canned dinners, and it’s time to visit the butcher for fresh meats and the garden for fresh vegetables. Also, look to utilize your spice cabinet more for flavor rather than constantly using cooking salt.
Controlling and monitoring your sodium intake should be a top priority, especially for those who are older. Luckily, at The Arbors we have chefs who prepare meals with health and nutrition in mind. If you’re interested in learning more, or visiting The Arbors Assisted Living community, schedule a tour by contacting one of our five convenient locations: