7 Ways To Reduce Your Sodium Intake
Salt is everywhere and in everything. It’s in your cereals, soups, and bread. It has multiple names to keep from being exposed like MSG, sodium nitrate, and kosher salt. And where there’s salt...there’s sodium.
You know that too much sodium is bad for you and can lead to high blood pressure or kidney problems if you aren’t careful.
So how do you reduce your sodium intake?
By following these 7 tips:
1. Drink More Water
It’s important to always stay hydrated but especially if you’ve been eating too much sodium. Drinking extra water might help you flush out the sodium after a salty meal, but it won’t necessarily reduce the amount of sodium in your body. The only way to do that is by staying hydrated, choosing low sodium alternatives, and staying active.
2. Get Active
Are you really surprised this made the list? Staying physically active is an important part of being healthy. When you're active, your heart rate rises and causes your body to increase its temperature. In order to regulate your body temperature, you begin to sweat. & Guess what? Your sweat contains water and electrolytes which includes sodium. While the amount of sodium loss through sweat varies per person, it’s never a bad idea to get active
Related: How to Start Running
3. Choose High Potassium Foods
Potassium is a mineral that helps your body function properly. It basically works the opposite way of sodium and can help reduce the effects of a high sodium diet. Most of us know that bananas are a great source of potassium, however, there are plenty of foods that contain potassium.
5 Foods High in Potassium
4. Eat Fresh
Canned vegetables and soups typically contain high levels of sodium. By choosing fresh fruits and vegetables, you can limit the amount of sodium in your diet. If fresh isn’t an option, try choosing frozen produce instead. Buy your meat fresh instead of eating pre-packaged foods or deli meat to cut back on preservatives (these have sodium too!).
5. Use Herbs and Spices
No, I’m not talking about choosing Himalayan salt or sea salt. According to the American Heart Association, no matter which salt you choose, they all have about the same amount of sodium.
Instead, learn how different types of herbs and spices can affect the flavor of your food. Look for seasonings that are salt-free and try DASH recipes that limit salt. Try adding spices or even lemon juice to soups and I bet you won’t even miss the salt!
6. Compare Brands
Believe it or not, not all foods were created equal. Look at the nutrition facts on some of your favorite brands and you’ll notice that the sodium levels may be different. Try to buy the brand with the lowest amount of sodium.
7. Read Food Labels
Speaking of your favorite brands, most of them have “healthier” alternatives. For example, a regular can of chicken broth may also have a reduced-sodium version. However, it’s important to know what each of these sodium labels mean so that you can make the best choice.
Sodium Free - These products have less than 5mg of sodium
Low Sodium - These products have less than 140mg of sodium
Reduced Sodium - These products have 25% less sodium than the original version
Unsalted/No Salt Added - No additional salt was added to the product. This doesn’t mean it isn’t already high in sodium!
Here’s the Good News
By using the tips above to reduce your sodium intake, you can gradually get used to eating lower quantities of salt and sodium. After a while, the foods you used to love will taste too salty and you’ll begin to see improvements in your overall health and your waistline.
What are some other ways that you have reduced your sodium intake? Let me know in the comments below!