How Much Salt to Add to Your Food

As published on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 in the journal STROKE, Dr. Francesco P. Cappuccio, of the University of Warwick in the UK stated that older adults with salty diets may have an increased risk of suffering a stroke.
The results were in a study of 2,700 older, mostly minority adults. They  got well above the recommended sodium intake and were nearly three times as likely to suffer a stroke over 10 years as people who met guidelines recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA).
 As people’s sodium intake goes up, their blood pressure will  likely  increase as well.
What is not as clear, though, is whether a salty diet may  mean higher risks of heart attack and stroke later on.
Unlike blood pressure, which can change quickly, stroke and heart disease are more long-range complications. So a study of the relationship between people’s sodium intake and their risk of heart problems and stroke is more difficult.
At this time, the AHA suggests that people not consume more than 1,500 milligrams a day.  The World Health Organization advises a limit of 2,000 milligrams.
The people in this study — mainly black and Hispanic New Yorkers —  consumed 3,031 milligrams of sodium per day.
The findings are based on 2,657 adults who were interviewed about their health and lifestyle and then completed dietary questionnaires. They were 69 years old, on average, when the study began.
During the next 10 years, there were 235 strokes in the group. Those that downed  4,000 or more milligrams of sodium each day were almost three times more likely to suffer a stroke as those who kept their daily sodium below 1,500 milligrams.
Among the 558 people consumed more than  4,000 milligrams per day, there were 66 strokes.
That compared with 24 strokes among the 320 people who kept within the AHA guideline.
Hannah Gardener, a researcher at the University of Miami School of Medicine who led the study said “We can’t definitively draw conclusions about cause-and-effect .
There can be a number of other factors to take into consideration in addition to salt intake. As an example
 smoking habits, exercise levels, education and health conditions  like diabetes and high blood pressure need to be taken in to consideration.
Although few Americans adhere to the AHA guidelines they should be followed according to Gardener.
Interestingly, it’s estimated that the typical U.S. man takes in 4,000 milligrams of sodium a day, while women typically ingest 2,800 milligrams.
 Salt is pervasive in the food supply — from canned soups and sauces, to breads and cereals, to processed meats — and it can be challenging to cut down. Americans receive almost 80 percent of their sodium from  prepared foods on supermarket shelves and in restaurants, rather than at home.
Gardener further states that it is important to read product labels to know beforehand how much sodium there is in the product.
 Eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains, as much as possible will also alleviate the problem.
The researchers suggest that responsibility should also rest on  government regulations and the food industry.
In England, the government has begun to regulate the processed food industry.  New York City has instituted the National Salt Reduction Initiative. This move tries to coordinate local and state governments and health groups to work with the food industry to cut sodium in packaged foods and restaurants.
Heinz, Kraft Foods and Starbucks, have already signed on to meet  salt targets.
Unfortunately, at this time and age people still take in too much sodium so strokes will still occur. When they do and the initial medical treatment is completed it behooves doctors and other medical staff and facilities  to supply the best physical therapy solutions available to treat any paralysis that may exist as a result of the stroke. Such physical therapy products are the TUTOR system.
 Rehabilitation using the HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR and 3DTUTOR is instituted in the USA at major  in-patient and out-patient clinics as well as at private physical therapy clinics. Many patients including stroke victims  can  also avail themselves of the  TUTOR system through the use of tele rehabilitation when they are at home or in a location far from a qualified rehabilitation center. The TUTOR products have been developed to allow for functional rehabilitation of the whole body including the upper and lower extremity. The system consists of ergonomic wearable devices and dedicated rehabilitation software that provide patient instructions and feedback to encourage intensive  controlled exercise practice.  The TUTOR system  exercises  multijoints within the normal movement pattern which prevents the development of undesired and compensatory joint movement. It therefore ensures better performance of functional tasks. This is important in stroke, brain, spinal cord (SCI) and Cerebral Palsy rehabilitation in addition to other neurological and orthopedic injury and disease.  Additional features of the TUTOR system include quantitative evaluation and objective follow up that is important in the physiotherapists treatment of the stroke patient. The TUTORS are FDA and CE certified and   are available for children as well as adults.  See WWW.MEDITOUCH.CO.IL for more imformation.
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