Originally posted on https://africanmangosupreme.com/468/too-much-of-a-good-thing-ways-to-decrease-your-salt-intake/
Did you know that 9 out of 10 adults and children in the United States consume too much salt? While the commonality of over-consumption may make it seem like a minor problem, too much can impact your body in huge ways.
Too much sodium in your diet can lead to high pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. These issues can prove fatal if left unchecked, so knowing how to reduce salt intake is essential to keeping yourself healthy.
Worried about your salt intake but not sure how you can cut back? In this article, we’re covering everything you need to know about sodium in your diet. Including the ways, you can reduce your salt consumption.
What Happens When You Eat Too Much Sodium?
Sodium can be found in many foods people eat on a daily basis, so it can be hard to know when you’re consuming too much. But knowing when you’re sodium intake is too high is key to preventing the health issues associated with it.
The problem with sodium is that your kidneys can’t really keep up with it hits your bloodstream in excess. To compensate with this problem, your body holds onto water to dilute the sodium. This dramatically increases the amount of fluid around your cells and raises your blood volume level.
If you have too high of a blood volume level, your heart and blood vessels are forced to work overtime. This stress causes e your blood vessels to stiffen, which will ultimately lead to high blood pressure and the risk of heart attack and stroke. The salt levels can also potentially hurt your heart and kidneys as well.
Additionally, the high blood pressure associated with this salt intake can lead to cardiovascular disease. And if you’re unaware, cardiovascular disease accounts for two-thirds of all incidents of strokes, and for 50% of heart disease cases. So, in some instances, too high salt intake can lead to death.
What Foods are High in Sodium?
The first step in cutting back on sodium is knowing which foods it is present in. Sodium is a sneaky thing, and foods you’d never think have it can often times have an overabundance of it. Here are some popular foods that can have incredibly high levels of sodium.
Ham is naturally high in sodium. That’s because you have to use salt to cure and flavor it. A serving as small as 3-ounces can have around 1,000 mg of sodium, which is almost half of the recommended intake level.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like food providers will work to make this food less salt-heavy in the immediate future. So, if you’re going to continue to eat ham, only eat for special occasions and make your serving size as small as possible.
Cottage cheese is beloved by many people because of how much calcium and protein it has. Unfortunately, just half a cup of cottage cheese is around 350 mg of sodium. And because salt is used as a flavoring and preservative, there aren’t really any low-sodium versions of cottage cheese available.
The good thing is that there is a way to strip some of the sodium from cottage cheese. To do so, rinse your cottage under running water, and then drain it. This can dramatically reduce the sodium level in it.
Soup can be another big offender when it comes to too much salt. This is especially true of canned and packaged soups that you would find at the grocery store. In fact, the average canned soup has roughly 700 mg of sodium!
Fortunately, there are some reduced-sodium options for soup. Just make sure when you shop for soup that you avoid any that have MSG, as this is a sodium-dense flavor additive.
Because shrimp is low in calories and usually packaged in its plain form, people don’t realize it has a ton of sodium. But it’s usually high in it because you need sodium-rich preservatives to prevent moisture loss during thawing. And because of that, a small 3-ounce serving of frozen shrimp can have as much as 800 mg of sodium.
If you are going to buy shrimp, look for fresh-caught options. Or go to your nearest health food store and ask if they have any frozen shrimps without additives
Other Foods to Watch out for
While the foods we covered are big offenders when it comes to sodium, they aren’t the only ones. Here is a list of other foods high in sodium that you should keep in mind:
- Cured meats
- Salad Dressing
Obviously, some foods are higher in sodium than others. If you feel uncomfortable or uninterested in cutting these foods from your diet, check your sodium levels and cut back where you can. You don’t have to eliminate everything from your diet as long as you’re smart about what you eat.
How to Reduce Salt Intake
Cutting back on your salt intake can seem scary and intimidating. But it’s actually quite easy to embrace healthy habits. Here are some simple tips that will help you dramatically reduce your salt intake.
Cook Your Meals From Scratch
Prepackaged meals are often packed with sodium content. Especially foods like roasted carved turkey, frozen breakfast sandwiches, and ready-to-eat pizza. A great way to cut back on your sodium intake is to cook your food from scratch so you can avoid sodium-related additives.
Make Smart Swaps Where You Can
Being healthy doesn’t mean giving up all the tasty foods you love. It simply means making smarter food decisions.
Instead of giving up your morning breakfast sandwich, swap for scrambled eggs instead. Make your own salad dressing instead of using a sodium-rich option. These simple swaps can cut down your sodium intake dramatically.
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Don’t want to cut back on how much you eat, but still want to avoid sodium? Well, fresh produce has basically no salt! So, add more fruit and veggies to feel full without splurging on sodium.
Read Your Labels
Instant meals and canned foods are high in sodium. So, if you eat these things make sure to review the salt level. Aim to have between 1,500 and 2,300 mg of salt per day.
Ready to Get Healthy?
Staying healthy doesn’t have to be stressful. By embracing these techniques and tips and learning how to reduce salt intake, you can cut back on your sodium levels, and live a healthier life.
Did you find the information in this article out? Check out our blog for more insights on organic foods and healthy diets!