As part of Illinois Sodium Reduction Week, March 12-18, public health agencies across the state are joining forces with the American Heart Association to raise awareness of the importance of lowering sodium in your diet with the “Break Up with Salt” campaign.
Sodium is a mineral that’s essential for life. It’s regulated in the body by your kidneys, and it helps control your body’s fluid balance. It also helps send nerve impulses and affects muscle function. However, extensive research has shown that too much sodium is related to high blood pressure, a primary risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
Here are some startling facts about sodium consumption from the American Heart Association:
- Americans consume an average 3,400 mg of sodium per day.
- Nearly 80 percent of 1-3-year-olds, and more than 90 percent of 4-18-year-olds in the U.S. get too much sodium. This can start increasing their risk of high blood pressure when they are as young as 1 year old.
- About 77% of the sodium we consume comes from packaged, prepared and restaurant foods. The rest of the sodium in our diets occurs naturally in food (about 12 percent) or is added by us when we’re cooking food or sitting down to eat.
- A reduction to 1,500 mg per day could result in an estimated $26.2 billion in health care savings, and 500,000 to 1.2 million fewer deaths from cardiovascular disease over the next 10 years.
You are invited to participate in Illinois Sodium Reduction Week activities on social media:
- Thunderclap – Monday, March 12 at 10 a.m. Register now for the Thunderclap to join us in broadcasting one unified message throughout Illinois about the benefits of reducing sodium.
- Facebook LIVE healthy cooking demo – Tuesday, March 13 at 12:30 p.m., hosted by Lake County Health Department. In this half-hour presentation, you will learn to make easy, delicious and healthy recipes from registered dietitians. Like, love, share, and post comments or questions during the event. Watch the video replay here and download the recipes that were prepared (Krunchy Kale Chips, Chickpea Salad, Lemon Pepper Spice Chicken).
- Twitter Chat – Wednesday, March 14 at 10 a.m. led by the American Heart Association Chicago (@HeartChicago). During this one-hour chat, experts will answer questions and share easy ways to cut sodium from your diet. Follow the conversation, ask questions or share information using the #BreakUpWithSalt hashtag.
- #BreakUpWithSalt video – Thursday, March 15 at 9 a.m., visit Facebook and Twitter to view, like and share a fun video featuring several county health departments using cliché breakup lines to break up with salt.
- Keep the momentum going Friday, March 16 and all weekend long by creating your own #BreakUpWithSalt posts on your social media accounts.