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Easy Ways to Reduce Sodium in Your Diet

By Sara Butler

You don’t have to be a pretzel or potato chip snacker to be in danger of getting too much salt in your diet. Salt is hiding in a lot of places you’d never suspect! Here’s the lowdown on why excess sodium is so harmful to you and what you can do to help reduce your daily intake.

What’s So Bad About Sodium?

Your body needs some amount of salt to work correctly. One of its major jobs is making sure your muscles are working correctly -- including your heart. But too much sodium can cause a host of health problems. The biggest problem it causes is retaining too much fluid, which can be harmful to our kidneys, heart, and liver.

The average American adult consumes between 2,500 and 5,000 milligrams of sodium per day, but the USDA recommends you only get between 1,100 and 3,300 milligrams per day. That’s a huge difference.

How Do You Get So Much Sodium?

It may surprise you to learn that the salt shaker in your kitchen isn’t the biggest culprit behind excess sodium intake. Sure, many people season with salt and pepper while cooking, but the majority of excess sodium in the average person’s diet comes from baked goods and processed foods. Even medications such as cough remedies and antacids are made with sodium compounds that add to your daily intake.

You must be aware of which foods contain hidden sodium in order to make better choices when you eat. It’s crucial to look at the nutritional information on a food’s packaging, paying extra attention to the sodium per serving.

How to Reduce Sodium

If you want to take steps to reduce your sodium intake, then it’s not as difficult as you may fear. There are some simple steps you can take such as:

  • Limit your use of your salt shaker
  • Use other things to flavor food such as lemon, garlic, onion, vinegar, and pepper
  • Choose fresh or frozen vegetables over canned
  • Compare sodium across different brands when buying cereals, cheese, salad dressing, sauces, soups, and packaged mixes
  • Rinse canned vegetables and beans before using them
  • Check sodium content of your favorite condiments
  • Choose foods that are labeled as sodium free, reduced sodium, or low sodium

Keeping excess sodium out of your diet isn’t as difficult as many people think. You simply need to know where to begin and put your plan into action!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Gahanna, Ohio.  

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