Many Americans are watching out for the dietary salt intake they consume each day. Too much sodium causes a plethora of problems including high blood pressure. There is salt hidden in so many foods that we need to learn how to read the labels in order to avoid it.
Salt is vital to good health in small amounts, but excess salt contributes to heart attacks, stroke, high blood pressure and even asthma and osteoporosis some studies show.
Some of the places salt is hiding
- Soup – canned and dry mixes
- Chicken nuggets
- Ready-made meals
- Fast food
- Processed meat
- Bouillon and flavoring cubes
- Soya sauce
- High flavor enhancers
- Stilton cheese
The foods that are the best choice for low-salt are natural, whole foods that have not been processed. Unfortunately, food manufacturers add salt to most packaged foods.
Pointers on avoiding excess dietary salt
- Read the labels on cereal boxes before pouring it into the bowl. Even better, read it before buying!
- For your morning coffee through a drive-thru, check sodium levels of each flavor. Ordering a dark roast in place of a milk latte can save 114 mg of sodium.
- Smoked meat always has more salt than roasted or baked meat.
- By-pass the sour pickles to save up to 300mg of sodium per 2 spears.
- Pass up the smoked almond snack and rip into a nice fresh orange for your midafternoon snack.
- When drinking with friends, order margarita without salt to save 435mg of sodium
- That basket of corn chips could deliver a whopping 500+mg of sodium
- Box of burritos and tacos for 5 bucks at favorite taco fast food place slings an enormous 3,030 mg of sodium.
- Using the same measure of coarse kosher salt instead of regular table salt in recipe cuts sodium by 20%.
- Salad vinaigrettes can be loaded with sodium.
- For heartburn or acid relief, use calcium-based antacids instead of the plop and fizz types.
- Use fresh or dried herbs in place of salt to add flavor and zest to favorite recipes
- Lower your salt intake gradually to let your taste buds adapt. If you have to go cold turkey on the salt shaker, try substituting a shaker of no-salt seasoning.
- Look for no-salt-added labels on food products you purchase.
- Look for salt hiding in favorite condiments like ketchup. Shop around to find brands with less salt or even no salt added.