How To Cut Your Sodium

Sodium can cause Major heart problems down the road.

Canned vegetables and lunch meat taste high in salt, but not all foods that are high in sodium are so easily recognized. You may not think that a bagel tastes salty, but a 4 inch oat bran bagel contains 451 MG of sodium. That’s almost a quarter of the recommended daily intake.

So how can you identify high sodium foods? Read the label.

The nutrition label will tell you how much sodium is in each serving (make sure you check the serving size, more often than not the serving size is much less than what you would think).

Look for these perpetrators in the contents label…
Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
Baking soda
Baking powder
Disodium phosphate
Sodium alginate
Sodium nitrate or nitrite

How can you control your sodium intake?

Eat more fresh foods and fewer processed foods. Most fresh fruits and vegetables are naturally low in sodium. Also, fresh meat is lower in sodium than luncheon meat, bacon, hot dogs, sausage and ham are.

Opt for low-sodium products. If you do buy processed foods, select those that have reduced sodium.

Remove salt from recipes whenever possible. You can leave out the salt in many recipes, including casseroles, stews and other main dishes. Baked goods are an exception. Leaving out the salt could affect the quality as well as the taste of the food.

Limit your use of sodium-laden condiments. Salad dressings, sauces, dips, ketchup, mustard and relish all contain sodium.

Use herbs, spices and other flavorings to enhance foods. Learn how to use fresh or dried herbs, spices, zest from citrus fruit and fruit juices to jazz up your meals.

Use salt substitutes wisely. Some salt substitutes or light salts contain a mixture of table salt (sodium chloride) and other compounds. To achieve that familiar salty taste, you may use too much of the substitute and actually not reduce your sodium intake.

In addition, many salt substitutes contain potassium chloride. Though dietary potassium can lessen some of the harm of excess sodium, too much supplemental potassium can be harmful if you have kidney problems or if you’re taking medications for congestive heart failure or high blood pressure that cause potassium retention.

Your taste for salt is acquired so you can lose the taste for salt. Cut your sodium intake slowly and your taste buds will adjust.