Nutrition Tip of the Week
February 24th, 2017
Defining Low Salt
We hear a lot about following a low salt diet, what does it all mean? Today we are going to review some tips to avoid too much sodium in the diet. How much should we have a day? On average try to consume less than 2,000 mg daily. The new 2015 dietary guidelines suggests less than 2,300 mg daily. American Heart Association recommends less than 1,500 mg daily.
Read more here from CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/salt/pdfs/sodium_dietary_guidelines.pdf
Let’s start by talking about salt vs. sodium.
Sodium and Chloride are combined to make the molecule, salt. Sodium is a mineral found in the earth, the same mineral that is found on your chemistry periodic table as well as in our body. It is naturally occurring in many foods. We need sodium for our bodies to function properly. However, too much sodium can have negative effects. Some negative affects are that it can lead to high blood pressure in some, water retention and possibly alter our hydration status. That is why we need to be careful with the amount of sodium we eat each day.
Both can be added to our food as preservatives, flavor enhancers or used in processing.You can check the food label for sodium. That will let you know the content in the food item. When looking on the label 5% of your daily value of sodium would be a low sodium item. As the % increases, so does the amount of sodium. Avoid anything with 20% or more of the daily value.
Follow these tips to help lower you and your families sodium intake:
- Focus on fresh foods.
- Eat less processed and less ready-to-eat foods, prepared snacks.
- Try new flavors - use salt free spices to enhance your food.
- Allow your taste buds to adjust. We are used to salt flavor, it can take a while to adjust to less salt in our food, but eventually you will.
- Cook more at home. This way you can control the amount of salt vs. spices you use.
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