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Easy Tips to Reduce Sodium

By Sara Butler

Salt. You need a little of it to provide your body with the nutrients it needs, but too much can have a negative impact on your health and wellness. Too much salt in your diet can cause high blood pressure and that can lead to a higher chance of experiencing a stroke, kidney problems, and heart disease. Here are some practical tips you can use to control your daily salt intake without sacrificing flavor.

How Much Salt?

The American Heart Association suggests that adults between the ages of 19 and 50 get about 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. That may sound like a lot, but it's really equivalent to only about one tablespoon of salt per day.

Tips for Less Sodium

There are a few easy tricks you can use to get less sodium per day in your diet. You can:

  • Cook at home - Unfortunately, eating out at restaurants doesn't let you control how much sodium you eat. In fact, restaurants are notorious for having very salty dishes on their menus, so it's best to cut out the middle man and cook your own food. Try to stay away from prepackaged foods and try not to add salt when you're cooking.
  • Go on a flavor hunt - You can easily add flavor to meals without salt by experimenting with fresh herbs and spices. Cumin, basil, oregano, turmeric, garlic, chili, and parsley are all packed with flavor and also happen to be great for your health. If you like spicy foods, then think of adding red pepper flakes to help enhance flavor without salt.
  • Look at the label - When you buy spice blends, beware of salt. Many spice blends have added salt, so if you see it in the first three to five ingredients listed, then give it a pass.
  • Use whole foods - The more you can make from scratch, the less salt you'll get in your diet naturally. Try to reduce your reliance on prepackaged and pre-made items in your diet and learn how to make a few key items from scratch. It may surprise you how much less sodium you'll eat per meal!
  • Rinse - Some convenience foods, such as canned vegetables, can contain a lot of sodium, even if you buy the low sodium varieties. You can reduce the sodium in canned vegetables by up to 40 percent by rinsing the vegetables after removing them from the can. Rinse with water for about a minute.

You don't have to sacrifice flavor to control your salt intake. Experiment with different ways to prepare food and you may realize that you don't need the salt you thought you did!

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

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