I’m sure you’ve been hearing for years about how eating too much salt is bad for you and
you shouldn’t eat this or that cause it’s high in sodium. Well, if you’re like me then you’re
very skeptical any time you hear about a “new study” that says you shouldn’t do this or
shouldn’t eat that. Well the truth is that there are been many studies done about the effects
of eating too much salt and a large majority of them have come to the same conclusion. That is,
eating too much salt can have a negative impact on many aspects of your health.
Like what you may ask? Well for starters, consuming too much salt is one of the major risk
factors for high blood pressure, which in turn can lead to potentially fatal conditions like heart
disease and stroke. Additionally, too much salt alone has also been shone to increase the chances
of a stroke in certain cases. High levels of salt intake have also been associated with loss of vitamin D and calcium.
So you can see the risks from having too much salt in the diet are very real and not just minor
nuisances. Thankfully, reducing the amount of the salt in your diet is not hard. Here are 5 simple
ways you can reduce the amount salt in your diet today:
1. No more Processed foods. In general, these foods contain much more salt than natural
food. Salt is used as preservative and liberally for flavor in things like TV dinners, canned
vegetables, those all too handy meals in a bag and pre packaged lunch meats. Avoiding these foods
altogether is a great idea, but if you just can’t give up the convenience of ready made foods then look
for lower sodium versions of your favorites.
2. Be condiment conscious. Condiments in general have a amount of sodium in them. Things like
ketchup and many salad dressings are loaded with it. Most salad dressing makers will provide a
low sodium option, “light” dressing does not fit the bill. In the absence of any low sodium options, go
for olive oil and balsalmic vinegar. It contains very little sodium. Some other sodium smart
condiment choices are mustard, relish and horseradish.
3. Watch the sauces. This fits in with #2. Sauces are notorious for being extremely high in sodium.
Favorite dipping sauces like ranch dressing and BBQ sauce should be avoided. Look for a low
sodium alternative or get creative and make your own!
4. Forget Fast Food. I’m sure this will not surprise anyone. In terms of sodium (and healthy eating
in general) fast food is just plain awful. You can get all your daily intake of sodium in one meal
from a fast food restaurant. And it’s not even that hard. Think about it, it seems like almost
everything at a fast food restaurant has some kind of sauce (see #3) or dressing (see #2) and is
most definitely a processed food (see #1). The more you can avoid fast food, the better off you’ll be.
5. Eat Natural. Always pick fresh fruits and vegetables over canned ones whenever possible. Also,
go for whole grain breads over other, more heavily processed, choices (like white). Get your meat
and chicken fresh rather than using frozen meat/chicken.
Following these 5 simple tips is a sure fire way to reduce the salt in your diet and help you to
eat healthier in general.