Americans love their salt and it is difficult to completely avoid salt in our food supply and often consume it without even knowing it. Researchers have found that many of our food products have the highest sodium levels in the world so it is no surprise that the average person in the United States and Canada consumes over 3,000 mg of sodium each day, which is a whopping double the recommended amount!
Consumers need to be aware of this, as a diet high in sodium increases your risk for high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease.
However, there is good news as FoodFacts.com recommends some easy ways to reduce your sodium intake.
* Read labels. When grocery shopping, compare the nutrition facts of similar products and select the product that is lower in sodium. Research foods like soups or broths that are labeled “reduced” or “lower” in sodium or salt. This means that these products have at least 25 per cent less sodium than the regular version. Selecting salty snacks like chips and pretzels less often will also help reduce the sodium in your diet.
* Eat out less. Many restaurant meals are high in sodium. Accordingly, eating out less will lower your sodium intake. According to many nutritionists and diet experts, the number one source of sodium in most diets is from processed foods, including pizza, sandwiches, hamburgers and hotdogs. Restaurant chains often have their nutrition information posted on their website. This information can help you find a meal that is lower in sodium.
* Make your own meals and snacks. You have more control of the sodium in your food when it is homemade. For example, you can add less salt while cooking, or rinse the salt off canned vegetables and legumes. You can also choose lower sodium ingredients, by doing things like selecting more vegetables and fruit.
* Think spicy! Give your food kick with herbs and spices, you won’t even miss the salt flavor.
* Research food ingredients. There are some great resources available to you. Food Facts.com, for example, has the world’s first and most comprehensive food ingredient database and includes numerous features that will empower the consumer in very positive ways.
Before you know it, your diet will be salt-free and you will feel better and be healthier!