It’s long been touted that a low-salt diet is one of the key components towards living a healthy lifestyle. A high amount of sodium in your diet can contribute to a number of ill-effects such as high blood pressure or hypertension, a key cause of heart disease that affects roughly 33% of Americans. The government recommends eating less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium each day. Yet, the average adult American eats over 3,400 mg.
What are the highest sources of sodium?
Sodium lives in a number of places that you wouldn’t otherwise expect, but most of the time it’s hidden in processed foods. It’s important to check the salt content written on the nutritional label of any food before eating it. If you’re not making your own food meals, then your sodium intake can rack up quicker than you might think. Even items such as bread, sodas, cereals, and even chocolate bars can contain added salt to try and improve the taste. Chips are one of the worst snacks as they frequently contain a high amount of salt to make them more appetizing, and because we tend to eat a lot at once.
Some common areas of hidden high sodium are:
- Pasta Sauces
- Salad dressings
- Processed Meats
- Ready meals
- Canned foods
How do I make food taste nice on a low-sodium diet?
It’s commonly thought that for a food to be tasty, then it needs lots of salt. In actuality, you can make an extremely flavorsome, filling, wholesome, and healthy meal using just herbs and spices. While salt can make a meal taste better, it can also be overbearing. Salt can easily be used to mask a lack of herbs and spices, so all you need to do is learn how to become more diverse with your cooking. Expand your spice cupboard. Herbs like rosemary, coriander, and mustard seed can add a lot of flavor to your food without any salt. Begin practicing some easy low-sodium recipes, and after a while, you’ll know which spices go well with what, allowing you to be more experimental with your cooking.
Tips and tricks for following a low sodium diet
- Limit processed foods
- Opt for low-salt or low-sodium products
- Learn how to season your foods with spices and herbs
- Don’t put a salt shaker on the table with meals
- Read ingredient labels before purchasing anything (Anything with 400mg or higher should be avoided)
- Learn some low-sodium meals you can eat regularly
When you're ready
When you're ready to start cutting back the salt in your diet, reach for real flavor. Rough cut seasonings are a great way to add more flavor to your food, so you won't even need the salt. Check out three options below to begin flavoring your food so you can let go of the salt.