The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recently found that roughly 90% of Americans eat 1.5 times more sodium than they should. The CDC recommends that the daily sodium intake should stay below 2,300 mg. However, 3,400 mg of sodium are consumed on average per day.
Excess sodium intake has been shown to increase risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and even kidney problems. Avoiding sodium takes a little effort, but is worth the health benefits.
Tips on How to Avoid Too Much Sodium:
1. Log Your Food
Seeing the nutrients in food and how much of your daily intake it takes up helps you visualize what you’re eating. Being able to look at physical numbers and knowing how much you have left of your daily sodium allotment can help you avoid too much sodium.
There are various apps that help with this that contain hundreds of thousands of pre-logged foods to choose from. They can manage your daily nutrient consumption and let you know where you are at. These apps are perfect to keep on track and stay within the 2,300 mg recommendation.
2. Read Nutrition Labels Avidly
If you truly want to avoid too much sodium, reading nutrition labels is key to success.
Nutrition labels are going to give you the proper information to decide whether certain foods are healthy for you to consume. Reading them may surprise you with how much sodium many everyday items contain.
It’s a great convenience to be able to buy a prepared meal that we can either heat in the microwave or put in a skillet for 5 minutes and it’s ready. However, many of those prepared meals contain over half of the daily recommended sodium amount.
Reading labels and becoming educated about what is in your food will help you realize what is going in your body and to find alternatives.
3. Out with the Salts, In With the Spices
We all have good intentions when we steam or bake veggies. We pat ourselves on the back because we are eating healthy. While that is true, it becomes less true as we add the butter and salt to them to add flavor.
Salt and butter help bring out flavors in a lot of foods. But there are substitutes that not only bring out the flavor of the original food, but add a new delicious element.
Flavoring vegetables and foods with herbs like chives, garlic, and rosemary will bring out a whole new flavor. Add ingredients like lemon or olive oil to make it zesty or savory.
4. Cook at Home More Often
What better way is there to know everything that is going into your meals?
Cooking at home is the easiest way to monitor the ingredients of your meals and to choose exactly and how much you want. Use cookbooks and online tutorials to help you become the chef you always wanted to be.
Restaurants tend to add too much sodium to their meals and not all restaurants have nutritional information about what they serve. Avoiding takeout and fast food with inherently allow you to avoid too much sodium.
Learning about nutritional content in food will help you choose the best ingredients and options to keep you healthy. Following these tips will help you to avoid too much sodium on a daily basis.
By lowering your sodium intake, your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease will decrease. Add exercise to your daily regimen and you’ll be even more set!