Hold the salt, please
What’s the big deal with sodium? About one third of Americans have hypertension (high blood pressure) and a diet that is high in sodium might be to blame. For some people, sodium helps hold extra fluids in the body which adds a burden to the heart. When high blood pressure goes untreated, it can damage the blood vessels and organs. High blood pressure can also increase risk for stroke and heart failure. Even if you don’t have high blood pressure, taking in too much sodium can lead to bloating, puffiness, and weight gain.
The American Heart Association suggests that women take in less than 1500 mg of sodium per day. That equals a little less than ¾ teaspoon of table salt. Amazingly, most of the sodium that Americans consume is from processed foods, not from the salt shaker. In fact, one fast food hamburger has more than the recommended daily value of sodium!
Gradually use less salt. You will get used to things being less and less salty if you decrease slowly.
Choose fresh food over processed food. For example, making your own marinara sauce with fresh tomatoes could save you up to 500 mg of sodium when compared to buying pre-made sauce.
Make your own meals low sodium.
Rinse all canned beans and veggies under cold water before using them. Use herbs and spices instead of extra salt for flavor. Add less baking soda or baking powder since these have sodium in them as well.
Try this low sodium chili recipe!
Pay attention when shopping for certain cheeses, bread, cured and smoked meats, pickled sides, condiments, broths and soups, and savory snacks. Compare the package labels and choose the brand with the lowest amount of sodium.
Look out for terms like “sodium free” “low or very low sodium” and “lightly salted” when buying canned and packaged food
. Try to find canned beans and veggies that say, “no salt added”.