Did you know most Americans are getting too much sodium (salt) in their diet? A high sodium diet can raise many health concerns. Excess sodium raises blood pressure due to holding extra fluid in the body. This excess fluid creates a heavier burden on the heart, which increases blood pressure. Eating too much salt increases the risk of heart failure, stroke, and stomach and kidney diseases. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines suggest Americans consume less than 2300 mg of sodium daily and even less for children. Here are a few suggestions on eating right with less salt.
Cook at Home More Often
This is a given because eating at home allows you to control how much salt goes into your meals. Package instructions may suggest using more salt for recipes but using less is better. Most instructions call for using salt with boiling water, but that is unnecessary and can be avoided. Rinsing canned vegetables will help reduce the high salt content in most canned vegetables.
Buy More Fresh Foods
Most foods in their natural form do not contain as much salt. Fresh foods can help reduce your sodium intake since fresh foods tend to contain significantly less salt. Fresh foods are also more nutritious, which benefits a healthier diet.
Read Food Labels
The Nutrition Facts Label lists the ingredients and amounts to help you find which foods contain less sodium. One easy way to look for lower sodium foods is to select ones that say “low sodium,” “reduced sodium,” or “no salt added.”
Be Careful with Condiments
Some condiments contain a lot more salt than you may realize. For example, one soy sauce packet contains 489 mg of sodium which is very high. Another to review is salad dressings which are typically high in sodium as well. Switch to low sodium soy sauce, ketchup, olives, dressings, etc., to reduce the amount of sodium you consume daily.
Recipes for Salt-Free Seasoning Blends
- Italian blend: Mix 2 tablespoons each of dried basil and dried marjoram, 1 tablespoon each of garlic powder and dried oregano, and 2 teaspoons each of thyme, crushed dried rosemary, and crushed red pepper.
- Mexican blend: Mix together 1⁄4 cup chili powder, 1 tablespoon each of ground cumin and onion powder, 1 teaspoon each of dried oregano, garlic powder, ground red pepper, and 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon.
- Mixed herb blend: Mix together 1⁄4 cup dried parsley flakes, 2 tablespoons dried tarragon, and 1 tablespoon each of dried oregano, dill weed, and celery flakes.
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