Did you know that the average American consumes between 4,000 and 5,000 mg of sodium (or salt) a day. That is close to double the recommended amount we should be consuming. So, how can we start eating less salt in our daily diet, without sacrificing flavor?
Before we get into the specifics of why it is a bad idea to eat that much salt, let’s take a look at why we should worry about it in the first place. Consuming too much salt can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, edema and kidney stones. Your body also needs more potassium to be able to deal with the excess salt.
Let’s take a look how you can start reducing the amount of salt you consume in your food on a regular basis.
- Don’t use salt when you are cooking (or just use a tiny amount). Add just a pinch when the food is on the table.
- Use no-sodium seasonings as well as herbs and spices to add lots of flavor without the salt.
- Buy low-sodium chicken broth and use it to cook with instead of the regular broth that’s full of salt.
- Soy sauce has a lot of salt in it. Opt for a low-sodium version instead.
- Use fresh meats and produce when you cook. Fresh food has a lot more flavor and won’t need as much salt
- Don’t salt your pasta or rice water.
- Buy low or no-sodium versions of food
- Cut down on fast food and salty snacks. Grab some fresh fruit or veggies instead.
- Read the label. Pay attention to the amount of sodium that’s included on the nutritional facts label. You’ll be surprised how much sodium a can of condensed soup or even a slice of bread has.
- Rinse canned fish and vegetables to remove some of the salt.
By implementing just a few of these ideas, you can reduce your sodium intake by quite a bit. At the same time, make sure you drink at least eight glasses of water to help your body remove any excess salt that is in your system.
Using less salt may be a little tough on your taste buds for a while. We are so used to overly salty food, reducing salt makes foods less appealing in the beginning. But don’t worry, your taste buds will adjust and you will be able to enjoy all the true flavors of the foods you are eating.