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All About Salt - A Cheat Meal Inspired Post

As a medical social worker serving a patient population in which hypertension is a common issue, the importance of healthy salt consumption has been on my mind lately. My boyfriend and I like to indulge ourselves with Bojangles from time to time. One day while researching the nutritional profile of my favorite Bojangles meal, Chicken Supremes, I began to wonder why is salt iodized? Here is what I found:

According to Discover Magazine, potassium iodine has been added to salt since 1924. Originally, salt was iodized to reduce goiter, enlargement of the thyroid gland. Today, iodized salt is credited with increasing IQ scores by 3.5 points nationwide and reducing iodine deficiency, or goiter, which can cause fatigue, constipation, sensitivity to cold and slow growth.

Salt can be good in moderation as evidenced by the public health benefits of iodized salt so if you enjoy salted french fries or hot sauce, which has surprisingly large amounts of sodium, like I do, then we don't have to feel bad about consuming these things in moderation. The FDA daily recommended amount of sodium is 1,500 milligrams, however, the "upper safe limit" is 2,300 milligrams. The FDA also recommends balancing salt intake with potassium to help maintain a healthy blood pressure level. Potassium can be found in fruits like bananas and oranges and also in beans and tomatoes.

In June 2016, The American Heart Association released the Break Up With Salt Campaign. This campaign celebrates the FDA's Voluntary Sodium Targets which encourages food companies and restaurants to use less sodium in food products. This is especially important since it can be difficult to know the nutritional profiles of foods that we do not prepare for ourselves. Many companies like Nestle and Dominoes have taken initiative to lower sodium content in their food products.

The Break Up With Salt Campaign encourages us to support the FDA Voluntary Sodium Targets on social media and by showing our gratitude to companies that are taking action. The Campaign also provides the opportunity to take a pledge to reduce sodium intake. For more information, click here!

What is your favorite salty treat? How do you enjoy it in moderation? Comment below via Facebook Comments!

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