If you thought salt was bad for snails…

By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer

snail

Just wait until you get a load of how bad large quantities of salt can be for you! Now, while we all need some salt in our diet, there’s something you should definitely be checking out on food labels: a little word called “sodium”. Sodium’s a fancy name for salt, and let me tell you, in high amounts it can be about as dangerous as eating too much fat or too many calories.

But before you start looking at that salt shaker like it’s going to bite you, there’s a really easy way to make sure you’re getting the right amount of sodium. A lot of food comes with labels that mention a bunch of nifty “Daily Value” percentages (often abbreviated “% DV”) that let you know how much that food or drink you’re about to have will fill you up on everything from vitamins to sodium. So go on, have some salt, even if that snail is looking at you cross-eyed. But just read those labels first and make sure you’re not having more than 100% of your daily value in sodium. For example, did you know a regular old can of soup can have almost 50% of your sodium for the day? Just one can of soup!

nutriBesides percentage, sodium can also be measured in milligrams, and you should get no more than 2,300 milligrams a day, sometimes less. Guess how much just ONE fast food burrito can contain? Yep, you might have guess it, more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium!Not only can sodium affect your health, it can make you look fatter because salt loves to soak up the water in your body, holding on to it and giving you a few extra pounds. So whether you want to look good at the beach or stay healthy, make sure to pay close attention to your sodium intake.