Give Salt the Send-Off! (Heart Health)
Cutting down on salt and other forms of sodium can help prevent high blood pressure, or keep it under control. Try to consume no more than approximately 2/3 to 1 teaspoon of sodium a day (equivalent to 1,500 to 2,400 mg). Here are some tips for reducing salt and sodium in your diet:
Use reduced-sodium or no-salt-added products, such as no-salt-added canned vegetables or ready-to-eat cereals that have no added salt.
When you cook, go for “savory” instead of “salty.” Flavor foods with herbs, spices, wine, lemon, lime, or vinegar. Be creative!
Don’t bring the salt shaker to the table. Try an herb substitute instead.
Use fresh poultry, fish, and lean meat, rather than canned, smoked, or processed types.
Cut down on cured meats (such as bacon and ham), foods packed in brine (such as pickles and olives), and condiments (such as mustard, ketchup, barbecue sauce, and MSG). Use lower-sodium versions of soy sauce and teriyaki sauce.
Read the label and choose convenience foods that are lower in sodium. These foods include frozen dinners, pizza, packaged mixes, canned soups and broths, and salad dressings.
Rinse canned foods, such as tuna, to remove some of the sodium.
While salt substitutes containing potassium chloride may be useful for some individuals, they can be harmful to people with certain medical conditions. Ask your doctor before trying salt substitutes.
It may be hard at first, but reducing salt in your diet will soon become second nature. You may even find that you like your food better without the additional salt!