A diet high in salt has been linked to several health problems, specifically high blood pressure. Doctors and nutritionists are always advising you to reduce your salt intake, but for some of us, this is no easy task.
Salt is added to food as a flavor enhancer, but there is a slew of other spices and herbs that can flavor your meals without using too much salt.
It is recommended that the average American consume 1,500mg to 2,300mg of salt a day. Yet, many Americans are consuming 3,400mg or more a day. This is because many of us aren’t reading labels properly or are eating foods that we don’t realize come with plenty of salt. Furthermore, many of us eat out, meaning we don’t know for sure how much salt is really in the meal.
A good way to start reducing your intake of salt is to read labels more carefully. Many packages will now indicate low sodium or reduced salt.
Another trick is to use other spices as substitutes for salt. For example, a Mexican spice blend is high in paprika, cumin, and chili pepper, which brings with it plenty of flavoring. For Italian cuisine, you can use a mix of rosemary, thyme, and oregano.
When dining out, ask for your vegetables steamed and avoid added sauces, or get them on the side so you can control the amount you consume.
When shopping, reading the labels is important, but also compare similar products against each other. This allows you to pick the option that contains less salt.
It’s also important to recognize salt in all its forms. Salt can go by many names and recognizing them can help you better spot it. Some alternative names for salt include fleur de sel, monosodium glutamate, and disodium guanylate.
Lastly, avoid processed foods as much as possible. Processed foods tend to have the highest amounts of sodium, and reducing your intake of these foods can help you reduce your intake of salt.
A great way to better manage your salt intake is to also moderate your potassium intake. Where salt hardens the arteries, potassium softens them. Therefore, upping your intake of potassium can help keep arteries flexible and blood pressure lower.
By incorporating these tips into your daily life, you can have greater success in reducing your salt intake all while protecting your health.
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