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Sodium: Less is Best



Sodium: Less is Best

A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.57

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    bloodstream, volume, naturally, fluid, actually, shellfish, daily, remain, dairy, however, sight, lead, such, often, beautiful, pumping
     content words:    Reduced Sodium, Salt Added


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Sodium: Less is Best
By Erin Horner
  

1     It could have been a beautiful sight, but it was actually a bit scary. As I glanced at the tiny cubes that shimmered like a sea of crystals, I could almost feel my heart pumping harder. They sat perched on the ridge -- not of a mighty mountain -- of my potato chip! My chips were covered in salt. There was salt on my fingers. There was salt on my plate. This snack was full of sodium!
 
2     My body needs sodium. It helps my muscles move, transmits nerve impulses, and helps my fluid levels remain balanced. My body doesn't, however, need very much of it. Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure. It can get into my bloodstream, increase my blood volume, and make my heart work extra hard to pump the blood through my body.
 
3     I read that the USDA recommends that most people, kids included, consume no more than 2,300 milligrams each day. That is less than one teaspoon of table salt! Even if I don't sprinkle salt on my daily dinner, I may still be consuming a lot more sodium than I think. Condiments like soy sauce and ketchup contain a lot of sodium. Salad dressings and pickles do too. Lunch time favorites such as hot dogs and deli meats can also be high in sodium. Anything sprinkled with salt like French fries and potato chips are also full of sodium. Canned vegetables even contain it.

Paragraphs 4 to 5:
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