Salt is everywhere! No matter what product you look at, you will find salt – hidden and not so hidden. Because of this, we have become a society addicted to this rock. The consequences of salt addiction can be detrimental to our health, unless we make the decision to protect our health and reduce the sodium in our diet.
Many medical experts consider salt a primary contributor to high blood pressure, increased risk of stroke, heart disease and kidney failure. Sodium is necessary for optimal health – we only need 500 mg. per day! The problem is, that we Americans consume an excess amount. Sodium is necessary to regulate fluid balance, contract muscles, and conduct nerve impulses. The recommended amount is no more than 2,400 mg. each day which equates to roughly 1 teaspoon of salt. Most of us use three times this amount and over time can create health issues such as High Blood Pressure.
Many of my clients suffer from high blood pressure, so it is vital to help them lower the sodium in their diet. Having integrated the following tips into their daily lives, they are not only living healthier, they are living a better quality of life and they don’t miss the salt!
Tips To Effectively Reduce Sodium
– Read food labels. Reading a nutrition label will tell you exactly how much sodium you are consuming.
– Buy fresh foods. Avoid sodium-ladened processed foods.
– Recipe calls for salt? Cut the salt in half.
– Rinse your canned beans, canned vegetables and canned tuna.
– Avoid bacon, ham, pickles and olives. These items are cured in salt and are loaded with sodium.
– Avoid meats packed in a marinade or sauce.
– Skip the cheese. Cheese has a high amount of sodium – 1 cup of low-fat cottage cheese has 745 mg. per cup!
– Minimize or avoid instant foods such as pasta, soups, rice and cereals.
– Choose the labeled “Lower Salt” versions of foods when grocery shopping.
– Eat out less. Restaurants and fast food chain’s menu items are notoriously high in sodium.
– When eating out, don’t be shy about asking to have your food prepared without added salt.
– Buy low-sodium or salt-free condiments, sauces and marinades.
– When cooking, Replace salt with herbs and spices. You can leave out salt and never miss it with added spices.
– Add salt at the end of cooking as salt flavor diminishes. If you need to add salt, do it at the end of cooking.
– Lemon juice adds zest and freshness. It does a great job of replacing salt.
– Don’t and salt to your food at the table – put the salt shaker away.
– Try a low-salt cookbook for many delicious low-salt recipes.
Did you know that your taste for salt is acquired? Your desire for salt is reversible. By gradually decreasing the salt in your diet, you will easily adjust to foods without salt. Most people find that after only two weeks of lowered sodium in the diet, they begin to no longer miss it.
By mindfully choosing to reduce your sodium or salt intake, you will create very large health benefits that will serve you for life.