Local Experts Say Cut The Sodium - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Local Experts Say Cut The Sodium

Dr. Lowell Chaffin, The Cardiology Center Dr. Lowell Chaffin, The Cardiology Center
Micah Wing, BSA Dietician Micah Wing, BSA Dietician

By Megan Moore
NewsChannel 10

AMARILLO, TEXAS - Thousands of people in our area become new heart patients every year.  To prevent yourself from becoming one of them, a possible solution is gaining national attention.

The Cardiology Center of Amarillo alone sees 5,000 new patients every year.

An easy way to make a dent in that number is to make a dent in the amount of sodium you take in, which is what experts around the U.S. are pushing.

Thousands could avoid the hospital if they cut out the boxed dinners and other foods like them.

Dr. Lowell Chaffin of the Cardiology Center says, "80% of the salt we take in comes from the salt in processed foods."

Another way is limit canned foods.

BSA Dietician Micah Wing says, "some people are unaware of the foods that contain salt and sodium."

You want to stay around 1500 milligrams of sodium each day, so here some of the worst sodium offenders: soy sauce. It has more than 1000 mg per table spoon - that is almost your entire daily allowance. Canned soup is also high.  Some cans have 1200 mg - again, almost all of your daily allowance. Canned vegetables can be high as well - some have 1200 mg in each can.

Wing says you are better off buying the no salt added version and seasoning your vegetables yourself "with onion powder, garlic powder" she says.

Dr. Chaffin says if more people used those seasonings, fewer would end up at the Cardiology Center.

Dr. Chaffin also says $24 billion in medical costs could be saved if people reduced their salt intake.

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