What parent doesn't want their kid to be healthy? What your children are eating now can impact their adult lives. Marcie Fraser reports.
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Salt is in most processed foods and most of us love it. But are we taking in too much?
"The average American consumes anywhere from 3,500 to 4,000 milligrams of salt a day," said cardiologist Dr. Andrij Baran.
Sodium is essential for a body to function, but too much can effect blood pressure and your heart.
"By raising pressure that, in turn, increases the risk of clogged arteries because the pressure then damages the lining of the arteries permitting cholesterol in getting in," said Dr. Baran.
The RDA for salt for children is as follows: kids ages 1 to 3 should have less than 1,000 milligrams of sodium per day. Kids ages 4 to 8 should have 1,200 milligrams per day. Kids ages 9 to 18 should aim for 1500 milligrams per day.
There is a subset of people who are very sensitive to sodium and need to be aware.
"People with diabetes, kidney disease, African Americans are in particular very sensitive to salt," said Dr. Baran.
Kids are on the go and cooking usually means fast, easy, and tasty. Tasty usually means there is quite a bit of sodium.
Reduce your intake by banning the table salt shaker altogether. Look for salt in common foods and read labels. A dill pickle has 1731 milligrams of salt in it, three ounces of ham has 1000 milligrams of sodium, and one ounce of pretzels has 500 milligrams. Reduce salt but not the flavor.
"Try to switch over to Mrs. Dash, which is various herbs using cloves, nutmeg, curry to spice your food," said Dr. Baran.
If high blood pressure and heart disease run in the family, kids need to watch their salt. Kids are not immune to high blood pressure.
"You'd be surprised as to how many children do not have their blood pressure checked as part of their physicals. If you see a child whose blood pressure is 120, that is worth watching," said Dr. Baran.