"Salt Sensitive" is top of March 22 Fresh Conversations program

Recently, there has been quite a bit of media buzz around the topic of how much salt (sodium) is good or bad for a person. Dr. Daniel Jones, a spokesperson for the American Heart Association, offers his philosophy about eating less salt: "As we get older, we become sensitive to salt. So, in general, people who are older benefit more from lowering their sodium."
Some people’s bodies are more sensitive to the effects of sodium than are others. Those who are sodium sensitive may retain sodium more easily, leading to fluid retention and increased blood pressure. If the fluid retention becomes problematic, it can lead to chronic problems such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and congestive heart failure.
Those seeking additional information can take part in a salt sensitive discussion taking place as part of March’s Fresh Conversations program being held at the Waukon Wellness Center Senior Center Tuesday, March 22 at 11:15 a.m. Local facilitator, Tatum Miller from the Good Samaritan Society-Waukon, will lead the discussion.
Around age 40 to 50, many people begin to see a real difference in their sensitivity to sodium. Medical experts believe most Americans take in too much salt. So the advice is for adults to use less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day - the amount of sodium in about one teaspoon of salt. For those who already have high blood pressure, the recommended amount may be even less, 1500 mg, or about half a teaspoon.
Salt is present in many foods and most recipes. This month’s food focus will target herbs, flavorings and spice combinations that provide more flavors, while using less salt. As part of the discussion, participants will sample and learn the differences between table, iodized, kosher, sea and lite salts. The food sample this month will be either a savory seasoning topping on beans or a peanut butter popcorn snack.
Activity keeps both the heart and mind strong. Sometimes, though, snowy Iowa winters and wet springs can make it challenging to be active. One strategy is to find an exercise buddy to meet at the local gym or wellness center, walk around a favorite shopping mall or large store, or have a “virtual” walk and talk over Skype, phone or Facetime. Join the Fresh Conversations meeting and explore new activity possibilities.
Fresh Conversations is a free program offered by Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging (NEI3A) and designed to promote sharing and peer support. Those interested in staying for a meal after the Fresh Conversations discussion are asked to contact Betty, the meal site manager, by calling 563-568-0074 for reservations.