Easy Ways to Reduce Your Salt Intake
By Sara Butler
Salt is really easy to go overboard with. According to the American Heart Association, most people should get less than 2,300 milligrams of salt each day. That’s only about one teaspoon of salt – how much do you get in a day? Here are some easy ways to help you rein in your salt intake.
Rethink Dining Out
Restaurants don’t take it easy on the salt in their food. If you know during the day you’re going to go out to eat, then try to lighten up on salt in other ways. You may even want to go low-salt the day after because that’s just how much salt restaurants use! If you know where you’ll be dining, go to their website and see if there’s any nutritional information available. Ask your server about lower-sodium options too; restaurants sometimes have special dishes that use less salt.
Know the Offenders
When you’re cooking at home, it still pays to know which foods are higher in salt than others. The USDA reports these foods to be the worst sodium offenders, so beware when shopping for home-cooked meals of:
- Cold cuts
- Canned tomatoes
- Potato salad
Avoid these foods or find the lower sodium versions to help cut down on salt.
Confuse Your Taste Buds
A great alternative to salt in your dishes are herbs and spices! Many people are hooked on salt to make their food taste better, but you may be surprised at how a few spices and herbs can distract your taste buds – so much so that you may not even realize you’re missing the salt.
Herbs such as thyme, pepper, cayenne, cumin, and rosemary are great replacements for salt in savory dishes. They’re so good, you may wonder why you hadn’t discovered them sooner and swapped out the salt!
Don’t Always Trust Labels
A lot of foods are labeled sodium-free when they may not be at all because they can still legally contain up to five milligrams of salt per serving. If you reach for less sodium or reduced sodium foods, then you’re opting for about 25 percent less sodium than the normal version. Make sure to look at the nutrition label to see what you’re really getting!
Watching your salt intake is really important to your health, so always keep it in mind when you're eating!
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