How to reduce sodium in your diet

Almost 50% more sodium is consumed today than is generally recommended. While it is an important nutrient needed to function properly in everyday life, too much can lead to serious health complications. One such complication is high blood pressure, which if left untreated could lead to the development of serious heart disease. Here are 10 simple ways to reduce consumption:

Eat fewer packaged and prepared foods: According to one study, about 75% of the sodium in our diet comes from packaged and prepared foods. Packaged foods are defined as “any food that is not a raw agricultural product and includes any raw agricultural product that has undergone processing such as canning, cooking, freezing, dehydrating or grinding”. Processed foods include additives that contain sodium, which makes them unhealthy. By removing some of these elements from your diet, you could drastically reduce your intake!

Use alternative spices: When cooking, try using different condiments, such as garlic, citrus juice, seasoning, vinegar, or other sodium-free condiments. A study was conducted and found that incorporating herbs and spices into low-salt foods is a feasible strategy to achieve a 50% reduction in salt intake.

Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet: the average sodium intake for Americans is 75% from packaged and prepared foods. By adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, you can help reduce the overall amount you eat. Eating more fruits and vegetables is also part of a balanced diet!

Read the labels: One study in particular found that when people calculated the sodium consumed from packaged foods, they reduced their intake. Following the American Heart Association’s recommendation, try to choose foods that are equivalent to less than 2,300 mg or 1 teaspoon per day.

Other options for reducing sodium

Ask for foods with less sodium when eating out: When dining out, ask for your meals to be prepared “without salt” and ask for sauces and salad dressings to be served “on the side”. This way, you have more control over the amount of sodium added to your food. According to a study with these recommendations, it resulted in a reduction of up to 31% per serving.

Rinse Canned Foods Before Eating: Canned foods are known to have a high amount of sodium in their preservatives. USDA research concluded that rinsing and draining canned foods can reduce sodium content by 9-23 percent.

High Sodium Substitute Snacks: Instead of eating potato chips or other snacks known to be high in salt, switch to nuts, seeds, and other low-sodium or sodium-free snacks. You can also try fresh options like carrots and celery.

Change your toppings: Small tweaks can make all the difference: choose light or sodium-reduced dressings, add oil and vinegar to salads instead of bottled dressings, and use small amounts of flavor packets instead of everything. A further study found that olive oil consumption was linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Try to avoid the “you’re salty”: The six salty are known as the six popular foods that can add high levels of sodium to your diet. These foods are bread and sandwiches, pizza, sandwiches, meats, soups, burritos, and tacos. Eliminating these well-known sodium-rich foods could be a conscious way to remove excess sodium from your diet.

To cook rice, pasta and hot cereals without salt: According to a study, avoiding the added salt in these foods is a quick strategy for reducing sodium in a person’s diet.

From Health Fitness Revolution. English article