6 tips to achieve a lower low-sodium diet
We've made no secret of the fact that too many people consume unhealthily high levels of salt. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) haven't been shy about it either, often pointing out that you should eat no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day — or 1,500 mg, depending on certain age, race and medical history factors — even though the average American consumes 3,400 mg, significantly higher the recommended amount.
But even if you've committed those numbers to memory and know full well about the health risks associated with eating too much salt — such as heart disease, stroke and hypertension — actually cutting down on your daily sodium levels is much easier said than done. After all, salt is practically in everything!
Of course, the prospect of achieving a healthier, lower-sodium diet is far from hopeless. Here are some tips from the CDC on how to best cut back on your salt intake:
- Eat more fruits, which hold very little sodium
- Mix different herbs and spices — like pepper, thyme and parsley — into your recipes as seasoning alternatives to salt
- Only use ingredients that are labeled as "low sodium" or "no salt added"
- Read nutrition labels carefully to choose foods that are lower in sodium
- When eating out, ask the restaurant for the menu's nutrition information so you know just how much sodium you may be getting with your meal.
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