Even if you are not a potato chip and french fry junkie, you may be consuming more salt than you realize. Sodium, a key ingredient in salt found in salt shakers, can hide in places, like in ketchup, soups, process foods, frozen dinners, cereals, instant hot cereals, candy bars, canned vegetables, and some medications.
The problem with high levels of sodium is that it causes the body to retain high amounts of fluid. This can be bad for people that have high blood pressure. It is also bad for men and women that have heart, liver or kidney diseases. There is a lot of debate on whether everyone needs to worry about high levels of salt in their diet. The USDA recommends that we need to choose foods and prepare foods with less sodium as part of our easy weight loss program. On the average most American adult consumes about 2,500 to 5,000 milligrams of sodium per day. But USDA states that we need to reduce sodium to about 1,100 to 3,300 milligrams per day. That is about 1/2 to 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt. That can make a big difference in our health.
How often do we add salt on to foods on our plate, during cooking, or as a seasoning during the preparation of a meal. Surprisingly the “hidden” sodium in our diets is found in processed foods, canned foods, soups, and baked products are very high. Some examples of “hidden sodium” includes salad dressings, mustard, meat tenderizer, cheeses, instant foods, pickles, canned vegetables and soups, salsa and barbecue sauce. Even common medications such as antacids, laxatives and cough remedies contain sodium compounds.
The key to managing our salt to reduce sodium levels is to become aware of which foods have a high sodium content and to reduce those foods from our diet. Start practicing label checking for sodium content on nutrition facts labels of packaged foods for the sodium content per serving.
Here Are A Few Steps to Help Reduce Sodium
- Limit or even stop the use of the salt shaker.
- Substitute salt seasoning with other flavorings, such as onion, garlic, lemon, vinegar, black pepper, or parsley.
- Know how much sodium is in your favorite condiments, especially soy sauce, steak sauce, ketchup and salsa. Limit your intake accordingly.
- Cook fresh or frozen fish, poultry and meat
- Select fresh, frozen or canned vegetables that have no added salt.
- Choose foods that are labeled “low sodium,” “reduced sodium” or “sodium free.”
- Sodium content varies widely among different brands of processed and packaged foods. So read the nutrition labels and compare the amounts of sodium in your favorite brands of frozen dinners, packaged mixes, cereals, cheese, breads, salad dressings, soups and sauces. Choose the brand with less sodium.
- Rinse beans and vegetables that come in a can to remove added salt before cooking.
- Start limiting your daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams.
- Look at using low sodium salt as part of The Diet Solution
One thing that experts agree on is a balanced diet with more fruits and vegetables that have no sodium. So become mindful of how much sodium you consume as part of your easy weight loss diet and concentrate more on an overall nutritious diet with foods that burn belly fat.