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Reducing Your Sodium Intake

High sodium diets are linked to high blood pressure, a higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Up to 75% of the sodium that Americans consume is found in processed foods, such as tomato sauce, soups, condiments, canned foods and prepared mixes.

Only 6% of salt in our diet comes from adding it to the table.

On average Americans consume more than 3400mg of sodium per day, which is over 1 1/3 teaspoons of salt. So why are we consuming so much? The sodium intake has risen steadily since the 1970s by more than 1000mg per day to present day. This has health officials concerned since the guidelines for healthy Americans is 1500mg sodium per day.

So what can we do as consumers to cut or reduce the sodium in our diet? Here are some tips that you can try at home.

1. Stop salting your food in cooking and at the table.
2. Read the labels, look for foods that have less than 300mg of Na per serving.
3. Avoid processed foods.
4. Pick fresh or fresh frozen vegetables over canned items
5. Use seasonings that are salt-free.
6. Look for low sodium or no salt added foods.
7. Kosher salt and Sea Salt are still salt so avoid using them.
8. Avoid mixes, such as gravy, taco seasoning, chili, and pancakes mixes are just a few
suggestions to keep in mind.
9. Rinse off canned items before using to reduce the sodium.
10. Snack on fresh fruit or vegetables.

Remember salt is not the only way we can season our foods. There are lots of herbs, spices
and salt-free herbal blends to season our food.

Susan Wright, RD, LMNT
Susan Wright, RD, LMNT

Susan Wright, RD, LMNT is a Registered Dietitian at CHI Health.

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