So That’s What It Means

I have spent almost four years researching, reading, printing, and then promptly forgetting about phosphorous.  I keep writing about the three Ps and salt and ending up having to remind myself what phosphorous is and why we need to limit our intake of it each time I write about it.  I was comfortable with protein and easily remembered what I learned about potassium, but phosphorous?  This one just plain eluded me.

I keep a log of interesting articles I run across just in case there’s a Monday that I can’t think of anything special.  That’s what I thought today was going to be.  I tried to start the blog with something about the downright beautiful Arabians we saw at the Arabian Horse Show on Saturday and couldn’t figure out where to go with that.  Then I thought I’d write something about being sick with the flu if you’re a CKDer, but worked on that one on the Facebook page. Maybe something about the wood shop being constructed in my garage?  Naw.  What does that have to do with CKD?

Before I looked over my backlog of articles, I took a quick peek at Twitter.  Bingo.  Seems that my backlog will just have to stay my backlog until the second part of this blog.  An article from Food Navigator.com caught my eye.  I understand it and it feels like I’ll remember it.  Sometimes it just works like that.  So here is the mystery of phosphorous in our daily lives solved.  The article is copy right protected so I can only give you the link, but I’d urge you to read it:

http://www.foodnavigator.com/Science-Nutrition/Phosphate-in-food-is-health-risk-that-should-be-labelled-claim-researchers

As I was scurrying around making dinner yesterday, my mind consumed with phosphorous, I noticed the bread I was munching on (You know the story: grandfather was a miller in the Ukraine, love of bread in my genes, hardest part of the renal diet for me) tasted salty.  Sure enough, when I started poking around in my files, I found this Feb. 7, 2012 article from NPR.com. Notice that last sentence reference to potassium.

To Hold The Salt, It’s Time To Hold The Bread

by Eliza Barclay

                                                            The sandwich on the left has a total of 1,522 milligrams of salt (per whole sandwich), while the other one has only 853 mg.

                          The sandwich on the left has a total of 1,522 milligrams of salt (per whole sandwich), while the other one has only 853 mg.

It’s no secret that some of the tastiest snacks around — potato  chips, french fries, and processed deli meats — are terrific vehicles  for salt. Without salt, they’d be bland, too starchy, or just plain  dull.

But would you guess that the white bread on your turkey sandwich  could be delivering almost as much as the turkey — up to 400 mg of sodium, or about one-third of  the daily recommended limit for 6 of every 10 adults?

A report out today from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  unmasks bread and some other sneaky sodium-heavy foods. It turns out  that 10 foods — from bread to poultry to cheese to pasta dishes — are responsible  for more than 40 percent of people’s sodium  intake.

According to  the CDC, the average American consumes about 3,300 milligrams of sodium   per day, not including any salt that may be added during a meal.  That’s way more than we need, and puts us at risk for high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease and stroke.

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend no more than 2,300 mg a day, except if you’re over 51 years  or African American or have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic  kidney disease. For those groups, the recommendation is 1,500 mg a day.

But   it’s clearly hard to stay within the limits, especially because we can’t control the sodium in some of our foods. Some 65  percent of sodium comes from food  sold in stores, and 25 percent comes  from restaurants. The salt shaker on the kitchen table  isn’t really the problem — it’s the industrial quantities of saline  sodium and crystals that are dumped into processed food to help preserve them and boost their addictiveness.

As public health institutions and other health groups have zeroed in on sodium, sugar and other ingredients in food that can negatively impact health, they’re increasingly looking to food companies to make some changes. Some have responded with commitments. Kraft Foods, purveyor of such salty snacks as Velveeta and Ritz crackers, said in 2010 it would reduce sodium by 10 percent over a two-year period. Last  year, Walmart also said it would cut the sodium in packaged foods by 25  percent by 2016.

Food companies also need to worry about how much potassium is left in food, as Shots has reported.   It turns out that consuming a lot of salt in combination with  too  little potassium is  associated with a greater risk of death, according to researchers from  the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory and Harvard.

Phosphorous, sodium, potassium.  Apologies to protein for not including it in this blog.

Before I say goodbye, notice the buttons for both the Facebook page and Twitter beneath the blog roll.  We aim to make life easier!

Until next week,

Keep living your life!

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Love the blog. Please advise where is the best place to ask questions? Discussion boards (which ones) here on the blog or another place that you have found that will help. Seems that most forums and sites are primarily about dialysis and transplant. Is there one place that someone with CKD can go for questions and support?

    • Thank you, Merry. I’m human enough to ALWAYS appreciate compliments. You may certainly ask your questions here or, if you’d rather, the Facebook page. Unfortunately, I have to agree with you about discussion boards being basically for those who are on dialysis or who are transplants. I’m actively seeking some myself and will keep you posted as to which ones offer some good give and take without being some kind of social meeting board.

    • I left a note for you below this comment. Good luck with your search!

  2. TreatmentDiaries.com may be a good place to start. You can connect with other CKDers who are going through the same thing. It’s an online support group that may be public or private, allows you to connect with others to learn, educate, and inspire. Also, Twitter is always a good place to ask questions (look for anyone talking about #ckd). Good luck! If you have any specific questions, feel free to contact me @LibreClothing.

    • How generous of you to share. Thank you so much.

      • That’s the purpose of the blog, Merry! You are very welcome.

    • Thanks for this important information, Mandy. I’ll take a look today. Sometimes these sites are geared so much toward dialysis patients that the early stagers can’t really make use of them. Considering that we’re well acquainted, I suspect that will not be the case this time.


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