Less is more should describe your daily salt intake. Americans consume 50% more sodium than the recommended daily value. High sodium intake can increase blood pressure which over time could lead to kidney damage. Try and purchase fresh foods and avoid added salt in packaged items. According to kidney.org, it can take about 6-8 weeks to get used to foods with low sodium levels. It isn’t easy but it is worth it. Remember, it is okay to add some salt to your food for favor, just make sure you are the one adding it!
To help reduce your sodium intake to the recommended one teaspoon per day, here are some tips:
- Purchased fresh meats or seafood. If a food item says that it can be kept in the fridge for days or weeks, that is probably a sign that it contains added salt to keep the product from going bad.
- Buy fresh fruits and vegetables. If you have to buy canned, find cans with labels that mention no or low salt. Or if purchasing frozen, read the nutrition label and make sure the only ingredient listed is the fruit or vegetable.
- Compare a variety of brands. Sodium levels differ from brand to brand. For example, chicken broth sodium levels can vary greatly with some brands over 1,000mg per cup!
- Use spices that do not list sodium as an ingredient or make your own spice blend. Choosing garlic powder over garlic salt can help reduce amount of salt in your meal.
- Before dining out, check the restaurant’s online menu. Find dishes with no or low sodium or request the dish be served without salt if possible.