How to Cut Down Your Salt and Sodium Intake

Table salt, every household’s staple condiment, has sodium and chloride that are essential to one’s diet. But high salt intake is detrimental to one’s health because it triggers heart and kidney diseases. In line with this, most people take more than the required amount of sodium. According to American Heart Association, daily sodium intake should be 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day and an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 milligrams per day for kids and adults. It sounds like a lot, isn’t it? But some food items that you consume have too much sodium content more than expected and if you are not conscious about it, you are most probably consuming more.

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Here are some tips on how to cut down your salt and sodium intake:

– Don’t use salt in eating or cooking unless it’s necessary but use it sparingly. For you to be guided accordingly, here are the approximate amounts of sodium in a given amount of table salt:

1/4 teaspoon salt = 575 milligrams sodium

1/2 teaspoon salt = 1,150 milligrams sodium

3/4 teaspoon salt = 1,725 milligrams sodium

1 teaspoon salt = 2,300 milligrams sodium

Source: https://sodiumbreakup.heart.org

– Limit the intake of salted snacks such as chips, crackers, or salted nuts.

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– The top sources of sodium in our diets are added through manufacturing and processing. Fresh and frozen produce have less sodium content than canned goods. The former taste better than the latter and you can regulate the amount of salt that you can put on them.

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– Always buy fresh and frozen meat, fish, and poultry that is not injected with sodium solution, marinated in salty sauces, or pre-cooked with salt.

– Avoid eating processed foods like hotdogs, luncheon meat, hams, sausages, Tocino, Longganisa, and other cured meats.

salt, sodium, chloride, food, how to minimize salt and sodium

– Always read the label. Opt for packed foods that have low or reduced sodium. Food packages may have these sodium-related terms: Sodium-free means that the food item has less than five milligrams of sodium per serving and contains no sodium chloride, very low sodium has 35 milligrams or less preserving, low sodium has 140 milligrams per serving, reduced or less sodium has at least 25 percent less sodium per serving than the usual sodium level, and light in sodium means that the sodium is reduced by at least 50 percent per serving.

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– Eat cereals that need to be cooked. They have lower amounts of sodium than the ready-to-eat ones.

– Use condiments like soy sauce, dips, salad dressings, and ketchup that has low or reduced sodium.

– Limit intake of brine-packed foods like pickles due to their high salt content. Always drain them before cooking or eating to reduce the sodium.

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– Boil pasta, vegetables, meat without salt. You’re going to put more ingredients that add flavor so it’s okay to miss the salt.

– Cooking by roasting, searing, braising, grilling, sauteing can bring the natural flavors of food that reduces the need for salt.

– Potassium helps counter the effects of sodium and may help lower your blood pressure. Incorporate foods with potassium like potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, greens, and lower-sodium tomato sauce, kidney beans, white beans, nonfat yogurt, cantaloupe, bananas, and oranges.

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References:

HOW TO REDUCE SODIUM. https://sodiumbreakup.heart.org/how_to_reduce_sodium?utm_source=sri&utm_medium=heartorg&utm_term=website&utm_content=sodiumandsalt&utm_campaign=sodiumbreakup

HOW MUCH SODIUM SHOULD I EAT PER DAY?. https://sodiumbreakup.heart.org/how_much_sodium_should_i_eat?utm_source=sri&utm_medium=heartorg&utm_term=website&utm_content=sodiumandsalt&utm_campaign=sodiumbreakup

SODIUM AND YOUR HEALTH. https://sodiumbreakup.heart.org/sodium_and_your_health

SODIUM AND KIDS. https://sodiumbreakup.heart.org/sodium_and_kids

SJ Valdez

Dreamer, Doer, Self-proclaimed Adviser... Simply a MOM!