(This post is intended as an “example” public health post. Instead of listing items like use a natural voice, add graphics, etc I wanted to show examples of what I think are essential items in a natural way throughout my chosen topic)
You keep hearing it over and over again from your Doctor, your nutritionist, and your mom…. Cut the salt! But in our prepacked and pre-seasoned world it’s harder and harder to cut the amount of excess sodium in your diet. The struggle is real, and I’m here to help.
According to the American Heart Association people should limit their sodium intake to 1,500 mg or less per day to avoid negative health consequences, but most Americans typically consume more than double that amount with a whopping 3400 mg per day (1). This is important because excess sodium can increase risk of hypertension (high blood pressure) which can cause heart disease, stroke and kidney disease (yikes!!). In addition, too much salt in your diet can lead to water retention which causes puffiness, bloating and weight gain. Gross! Most of our pre-made, canned, frozen and restaurant foods have overused salt to a point that we’ve all gotten our taste-buds acclimated to an intense salty flavor. Too much salt often overpowers a meal and you loose out on detecting tasty herbs and spices. Give your taste buds a break and enjoy the hard work you or your restaurant chefs put into seasoning your food. By cutting back gradually you can re-acclimate your taste buds to a enjoy foods without all the salt. Try one or two of these smart sodium substitutions to please your palate and your doctor.
Smart Sodium Substitutions
- When cooking at home use the salt shaker sparingly and when dining out ask that your food be prepared without added salt (you’re paying for it! Get what you want)
- Herbs and spices are your new best friend. Garlic power, paprika, and onion will add all the deliciousness you need and leave your heart happy.
- Do not add extra salt from a salt shaker to pre-made foods instead add some Mrs Dash or other no-salt seasoning if you need more flavor
- Ask for sauces, gravies and dressings on the side and dip your food one bite at a time
- Condiments like ketchup, mustard and pickle relish can be high in sodium – remember, a little goes a long way!
- Go for fresh fruits and veggies whenever possible – low on sodium and high on fiber and healthy vitamins
- Watch out for hidden offenders! That side of “healthy” chef’s salad or the sweet treat you have on the side could have up to 400 mg. Sweet items and low fat options may be packed with extra sodium, so choose with caution because they add up!
YOU’VE BETRAYED ME FOR THE LAST TIME ORANGE TART!