Hold the Salt, Please!

What is “Salt” or “Sodium”

Salt is a necessary part of any diet. How much salt is necessary depends on the individual needs of the person and any applicable dietary restrictions. Salt, commonly known as table salt, is a combination of two minerals, sodium and chloride. Sodium plays a role in cellular functions. It is regulated by the kidneys. It plays a role in nerve functions by assisting in sending signals in our nerves. Sodium also plays a role in muscular function.[1][2]

Why is Too Much Considered Bad?

The American Heart Association states, “When there’s extra sodium in your bloodstream, it pulls water into your blood vessels, increasing the total amount (volume) of blood inside your blood vessels. With more blood flowing through your blood vessels, blood pressure increases. It’s like turning up the water supply to a garden hose — the pressure in the hose increases as more water is blasted through it. Over time, high blood pressure may overstretch or injure the blood vessel walls and speed the build-up of gunky plaque that can block blood flow. The added pressure also tires out the heart by forcing it to work harder to pump blood through the body.”[3]

Application to This Website

When choosing items there was a balancing act between the recommended Daily Values (DV). Fast food tends to have high sodium content across the board at every included company. The decision was made to determine the items with the least amount of sodium while still offering sufficient protein and lower calorie count. Trans Fat was avoided as much as possible due to its role in lowering good cholesterol (HDL) and raising bad cholesterol.[4] Balancing all these items and other food components such as total fat, cholesterol, total carbohydrate, and dietary fiber led to the identification of the presented items.

 

[1] Farquhar, W. B., Edwards, D. G., Jurkovitz, C. T., & Weintraub, W. S. (2015). Dietary Sodium and Health: More Than Just Blood Pressure. Journal of the American College of Cardiology65(10), 1042–1050. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2014.12.039

[2] MedlinePlus. (n.d). Sodium. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/sodium.html

[3] American Heart Association. (n.d) Sodium and Your Health. Retrieved from https://sodiumbreakup.heart.org/sodium_and_your_health

[4] American Heart Association. (2017). Trans Fat. Retrieved from https://healthyforgood.heart.org/eat-smart/articles/trans-fat