According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 90% of Americans are eating 1.5 times the amount of sodium they should be. To solve this issue, there are easy steps to cut down on sodium and reduce the risk of heart problems.
1. Choose Your Condiments Wisely
Adding condiments to hamburgers, sandwiches, french fries, and chicken nuggets can make the meal much tastier and less dry. However, condiments like ketchup, mustard, and ranch can be high in ranch.
Additionally, soy sauce is very high in sodium, so consider that when adding it to your rice. Where you can, find low-sodium alternatives to your favorite condiments.
2. Pick Your Poultry
A little-known fact about poultry is that it’s often injected with sodium, saline, or broth. This means that your healthy grilled chicken isn’t as heart healthy as you thought.
Look on the packaging to make sure no sodium injections have occurred. For 4-ounces of unseasoned chicken, there is only about 100 mg of sodium.
3. Learn to Use Other Flavors
One of the easy steps to cut down on sodium is when you’re cooking, try not to instinctively reach for the salt. Instead, buy various spices and herbs and learn to season with those instead.
Garlic, onion, basil, curry, vinegar, and the like are all inexpensive and can be used fresh to add some flavor to your meal. You’ll realize that salt has nothing on these unique flavors.
4. Drain Canned Foods
If you like to buy canned vegetables or beans, be sure to drain and rinse the food before eating it. You can reduce your sodium intake from these types of food by 40%.
A better option is to buy fresh produce and lightly salt them yourself. That way you control it and they will taste better!
5. Look Up the Nutritional Facts at the Restaurant
Restaurants pack in the salt to make their food more flavorful. The food is also higher in salt because they need to preserve their meat longer before it gets to your plate.
If the food you want is high in salt, you can request for the chef to make it low-sodium. Then taste your food before you add any salt to it.
6. Look for the American Heart Association Seal of Approval
The American Heart Association (AHA) has a seal of approval for foods that are heart healthy. That includes foods that are low in sodium.
You can be sure that foods with their seal on it are healthier than other similar options. Processed foods can be extremely high in sodium, so if you stick with processed foods, this is your best bet.