St. Luke's Hospital
Located in Chesterfield, MO
Main Number: 314-434-1500
Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
News Releases
About Us
Locations & Directions
Download Our Logo - ZIP
Download Photos - ZIP
Baby Bunting Photo Gallery
Release of Patient Information under HIPAA - PDF
St. Luke's Hospital in the News
News Media Contact
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment

In The News

Dr. Leanne Watson-Ficken, St. Luke's Hospital

DASH program can help women concerned about salt intake

Most people know high-sodium food when they see it, right? Unfortunately, most don't consider some cereals, cottage cheese and canned vegetables to be high in salt. This is a misconception that can lead to high salt intake along with high blood pressure, heart disease, heart failure, kidney disease and stroke.

This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study showing that 90 percent of all Americans consume more than the daily recommended amount of salt. Specifically, the average American consumes about 3,300 milligrams of salt daily - about 1,000 mg more than the U.S. Dietary Guidelines of 2,300 mg per day. Although not as high as the overall average, about 83 percent of women consume more salt per day than is recommended.

Salt is a necessary component of the body, helping it to perform and function properly. But too much salt can create health problems. The salt we consume is not just the kind found in the kitchen cabinet. Salt is typically consumed through foods like bread, lunch meat, pizza, soup, cheese, pasta and meat dishes. Of course, snack foods such as potato chips, pretzels and popcorn also pack quite a bit of salt.

Pregnant women should pay particular attention to their salt intake. Researchers who published a study in the American Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology found too much or too little salt in a pregnant woman's diet can negatively affect a baby's kidney development as well as lead to high blood pressure for the baby.

One option for those concerned about their salt intake is to follow the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating program. The plan stresses the importance of not only lowering salt intake to help lower blood pressure numbers, but it also focuses on limiting cholesterol, saturated fat and total fat. It encourages diets high in fruits and vegetables, fiber and low-fat dairy products.

Another option would be to replace salt with salt-free spices in your meals and add potassium to your diet to help counter salt's effect on blood pressure.

Dr. Leanne Watson-Ficken is board-certified in internal medicine and is NCQA certified in diabetic care. Call 636-561-6011.

This article was published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on March 21, 2013.

Back  |  Top
About Us
Contact Us
Locations & Directions
Quality Reports
Annual Reports
Honors & Awards
Community Health Needs

Brain & Spine
Sleep Medicine
Urgent Care
Women's Services
All Services
Patients & Visitors
Locations & Directions
Find a Physician
Tour St. Luke's
Patient & Visitor Information
Contact Us
Payment Options
Financial Assistance
Send a Card
Mammogram Appointments
Health Tools
My Personal Health
Spirit of Women
Health Information & Tools
Clinical Trials
Employer Programs -
Passport to Wellness

Classes & Events
Classes & Events
Spirit of Women
Donate & Volunteer
Giving Opportunities
Physicians & Employees
For Physicians
Remote Access
Medical Residency Information
Pharmacy Residency Information
Physician CPOE Training
St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Notice of Privacy Practices PDF  |  Patient Rights PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile