Diet and Nutrition

12 Foods You Should Eat Every Day

Avoid tons of health problems by keeping sodium levels low

The average American diet contains way too much sodium. Sodium is an essential mineral we need to stay alive, but too much sodium can be very hazardous to our health. Excess sodium in the bloodstream increases blood pressure. Over time, high blood pressure can damage the blood vessels, restrict blood flow, and place added strain on the heart. High blood pressure is one of the main risk factors for heart disease, which is the number one cause of death in the U.S. and around the world.

A lot of our sodium intake doesn't come from simply adding salt to our food--it comes from pre-packaged and processed foods, from packaged TV dinners to baked goods.

Even people who don’t have high blood pressure should avoid consuming too much sodium; reduced sodium intake reduces one’s risk of stroke, heart failure, heart attack, osteoporosis, kidney disease, and stomach cancer. Reducing your sodium intake can even make headaches less frequent. Eating too much salt can lead to water retention and, in turn, bloating and weight gain. In sum, you can avoid a ton of health problems simply by watching your salt intake and keeping your sodium levels low.