Learn to enjoy food without salt
Learn how to reduce your sodium intake by eating fresh, non-processed foods that are flavored with healthier seasonings like herbs, spices and citrus.
Americans consume too much sodium. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 9 in 10 Americans, aged 2 years and older, eat too much salt. The maximum recommendation for sodium is 2,300 milligrams per day. However, nearly 70 percent of adults in the U.S. are considered at high risk of health problems associated with salt and should be limiting their salt intake to 1,500 milligrams.
If you find out that you are consuming too much sodium, what can be done to “slash the salt” to a healthier level? Harvard University provides five ways to cut back on salt:
- Get fresh – avoid processed foods and choose fresh foods that are seasoned with herbs, spices and citrus instead of salt
- Scan the label – prepared foods that are canned, boxed and frozen should have 300 milligrams or less per serving
- Downsize your portions – if your meal is high in calories watch for a higher sodium content
- Seek low-salt options when dining out – look for dishes that are low in salt and use salty condiments sparingly
- Call for action – restaurant managers and food companies want your business. Don’t be afraid to speak up and request reduced sodium meal options if you’d like to see those options in restaurants you frequent.
Another way to reduce salt intake is to learn how to prepare your food in a healthier way. Herbs, spices and other flavorings such as fresh or dried garlic, oregano, pepper, sage, rosemary, curry, cinnamon, nutmeg, saffron, lemon or lime juice, flavored vinegars and fragrant oils can help boost the flavor of everyday dishes.
Make sure to check with your doctor if you plan on using a salt substitute. Sodium free substitutes contain potassium chloride and “lite” salts replace half the salt with potassium chloride. While most people can tolerate extra potassium it can be dangerous for those with certain health conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, etc.
For more information check out the following websites and fact sheets from the Harvard School of Public Health: