How to Reduce Your Sodium Intake

Americans are consuming too much sodium.

Recently, the FDA released a voluntary request to companies to reduce the amount of added sodium in food. The average person is supposed to consume about 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, but Americans are at a staggering 3,400 milligrams on average.

Unsurprisingly, most of that sodium comes from prepackaged and processed food.

Sodium is added to certain processed foods to improve the taste and increase longevity. The problem is, you can’t always taste it, so you could be eating something with very high sodium and not realize it.

The FDA has given companies 2.5 years to try and reduce sodium, but it seems like a long shot since the process would alter the flavor and shelf life of their food, eventually cutting into profits.

The moral of the story is, most companies probably aren’t going to take this very seriously. Excessive sodium in your diet can lead to all kinds of health problems like stroke, heart failure, osteoporosis, kidney disease, and cancer.

READ MORE: Are You Eating Too Much Sodium?

So, if you want to cut some sodium out of your diet, it is probably going to be entirely up to you. Here are five tips to help:

Eat Less Processed Foods- Processed foods are the hugest culprit in terms of added sodium. Eating out at natural food restaurants and making food at home are healthier options.

Cook Meats from Scratch- One of the biggest culprits in terms of sodium is pre-packaged meats, because sodium is often used as a preservative. Cooking fresh meat helps solve this issue.

Read the Labels- Sodium content is always listed on nutritional labels, so keep in mind that anything above 20% of your daily value per serving is considered high.

Eat Fresh Fruit and Vegetables- When it comes to sodium, fresh fruits and veggies are your best friend. Adding more of these into your diet is helpful for your overall health, too.

Choose Spices with No Sodium- Many spices have added salt, so check the labels and opt for less sodium rich options, like choosing garlic powder instead of garlic salt.

Published by karenmsutton

HSS Orthopaedic surgeon in sports medicine | Mother of 4 amazing children | Team physician for USA Women's Lacrosse | ACL injury expert

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