Sunday, January 31, 2010

Salt



How do you respond when someone very close to you informs you they have recently had a stroke?  Someone of your vintage and generation.  Someone who embodies healthy living and has been a rock in your life for decades. Someone with whom you share childhood memories that are as strong and colourful as if they happened yesterday.
What do you say to this person?
What do you think? 
What do you do?
The stroke was momentary; a full collapse of the left side of the body with a quick rebound, all over in a few seconds, but unsettling.  Many would have shrugged it off as a simple absent minded slip or a brain fart. Fortunately, my friend didn't shrug it off.  Two MRI's later confirmed the good news and bad; it was indeed a stroke, but not an aneurism. The stroke occurred in a part of the brain that doesn't cause lasting damage, but had it occurred elsewhere the results would have been devastating.  Aside from the initial scare there is no residual damage, at least none that can be detected at this point.  It turns out that this person is probably genetically predisposed to strokes and has been diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure).  The best doctor advice?
1)  Keep your weight down.
2) Exercise.
3) Reduce your salt intake.

Salt by the numbers * ...
  • 1,500: Recommended daily sodium intake in milligrams for people between 9 and 50.
  • 2,300: Maximum daily sodium intake in milligrams compatible with good health.
  • 3,400: What the average Canadian consumes daily in milligrams.
  • 85: Percentage of Canadian men aged 19 to 70 consuming MORE than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily.
  • 60:  Percentage of women aged 19 to 70 consuming More than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily.
  • 77:  Percentage of Canadian children aged 1 to 3 consuming more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily.
  • 93:  Percentage of children aged 4 to 8 consuming more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily.
  • 1: Level teaspoon = about 1,500 milligrams of sodium.
So good friends and readers of this blog keep on running and keep an eye on your salt intake.  The consequences could be serious.

It's a good day to be alive.

Mike

* Source, Statistics Canada

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