Savor the Salt

The government has given us certain recommendations regarding sodium. The newly lowered guideline is now at 2300 milligrams, which is about one teaspoon daily.  This is very easy to reach this level, so, it’s important to avoid processed foods as much as possible.  For instance, one can of soup easily contain almost half your daily dose of sodium.

The maximum recommended level of sodium intake is 2,300 mg per day.

Sodium is a part of everyone's diet, but how much is too much? Under ideal conditions, the minimum sodium requirement is about 1,500 milligrams (mg) of sodium each day. This is les than 1 teaspoon of table salt. The maximum recommended level of sodium intake is 2,300 mg per day. On average, American men consume between 3,100 and 4,700 mg of sodium per day, while women consume between 2,300 and 3,100 mg (due to their lower calorie intake, not because of restricting sodium).

Sodium intake is one factor involved in the development of high blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension. Hypertension tends to develop as people age. Some individuals are "salt

Salt is added to most canned and some frozen vegetables, smoked and cured meats, pickles and sauerkraut. It is used in most cheeses, sauces, soups, salad dressings and many breakfast cereals. It is also found in many other ingredients used in food processing. Watch out for commercially prepared condiments, sauces and seasonings when preparing and serving foods for you and your family.

  • 1/4 tsp. salt = 500 mg sodium
  • 1/2 tsp. salt = 1,000 mg sodium
  • 3/4 tsp. salt = 1,500 mg sodium
  • 1 tsp. salt = 2,000 mg sodium

Use the following suggestions as starting points to reduce sodium in your diet.

  • Cover up some of the holes on the salt shaker or take it off the table. Learn to enjoy food's natural taste.
  • At your home, wash out all of our canned vegetables or beans. This eliminates some of the extra salt.
  • Use more fresh fruit, vegetables and meat. The more processed the food is, the more sodium it may contain.
  • Use canola oil or olive oil instead of butter or margarine in cooking.
  • Check food labels for the words salt or sodium. Salt often is used as a preservative or flavoring agent.
  • Season foods with herbs and spices rather than salt.
  • Do not use salt substitutes, especially those that contain potassium, without first talking to your doctor.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist for the sodium content of medications, especially antacids, cough medicines, laxatives and pain relievers.
  • Try products such as low or reduced sodium to curb sodium intake. Shop carefully. These products can be more expensive. Make sure the reduction in sodium justifies the added cost.
  • Plan meals that contain less sodium. Try new recipes that use less salt and sodium-containing ingredients. Adjust your own recipes by reducing such ingredients a little at a time. Don't be fooled by recipes that have little or no salt added but call for ingredients like soups, bouillon cubes or condiments that do.
  • Make your own condiments, dressings and sauces and keep sodium-containing ingredients at a minimum.
  • Cut back on salt used in cooking pasta, rice, noodles, vegetables and hot cereals.
  • Taste your food before you salt it. If, after tasting your food, you must salt it, try one shake instead of two.  

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