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How to Reduce Sodium in Your Diet

By Sara Butler

Eating too much salt can cause a variety of problems for your health. It can cause you to develop high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for chronic diseases such as stroke and heart disease -- as well as other issues related to your cardiovascular system. That's why it's important to keep tabs on how much salt you consume daily and take steps to reduce that number if it's too much. Here are some tips to help you get started.

How Much?

It's important to try to limit your sodium if you have risk factors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that some people cap their daily salt intake at 1,500 milligrams per day. These groups of people include:

  • Anyone over the age of 50
  • African-Americans
  • People with high blood pressure
  • People who suffer from kidney disease
  • People with diabetes

If none of the above apply to you, then you should still cap your daily intake at about 2,300 milligrams per day. If you eat a lot of processed foods, then this cap may be more difficult than you realize.

Sodium Sources in Your Diet

So, what do 2,300 milligrams of salt actually look like? It's equal to about one teaspoon. Table salt is obviously a big source in your diet, but you can also find high levels of sodium in:

  • Frozen meals
  • Canned foods
  • Cured meats
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Bread

The list goes on. The best thing you can do is look for salt on the nutrition information of any packaged food you buy. It's not always going to be listed as salt or sodium. The following ingredients also contain sodium, so it's a must to keep an eye out for them:

  • Sodium nitrite
  • Sodium nitrate
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Sodium alginate
  • Disodium phosphate

How to Cut Back

There are a few simple things you can do to reduce your salt intake, such as:

  • Reading food labels
  • Choosing fresh vegetables or frozen over canned
  • Avoid cured meat and lunch meat
  • Stay away from convenience foods such as frozen pizzas and snack foods
  • Use salt substitutes containing potassium
  • Don't use salt in your recipes
  • Choose unsalted nuts
  • Use seasonings in place of salt when cooking

Your body needs some salt to be balanced, but it's not that much. Be mindful of how much salt you eat in a day in order to stay healthy. If you have questions about how much salt you should eat or what foods contain salt, then talk to the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic today! 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Bossier City, La.

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