Easy Ways to Reduce Salt in Your Diet
from Jean West-Zawacki, RD, LDN
Clinical Nutrition Manager at Grand View Hospital
Everyone's diet needs some salt - the most commonly-used form of sodium. Consuming too much salt, however, contributes to your risk of high blood pressure, a risk factor for many serious health conditions such as heart disease and stroke.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, most adults should consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium (about one teaspoon of salt) per day.
However, limit your consumption to 1,500 mg per day if you:
- Are 40 years of age or older
- Are African American
- Have high blood pressure
It's also important for most Americans to meet the daily potassium recommendation of 4,700 mg per day. Potassium helps counteract the harmful effects of salt.
So, how you can reduce salt in your diet? Jean West-Zawacki, RD, LDN, Clinical Nutrition Manager at Grand View Hospital has some easy ways.
Jean's Tips: Easy Ways to Reduce Salt in Your Diet
- Avoid processed, packaged foods.
- Check nutritional labels. Avoid foods with more than five percent of your Daily Value
(%DV) of sodium per serving.
- Cut the amount of added salt in recipes by half or more.
- Don't add salt to cook water for pasta or rice.
- Order carefully in restaurants. Ask if they have low-sodium options or nutritional information. Cut back on gravies, dressings, sauces, and other salty items.
- Talk with your physician before using a salt substitute. Many contain potassium chloride, which can be harmful to some people.
- Use fresh or frozen vegetables, instead of canned.
- Use herbs, spices, lemon or lime juice to flavor foods, instead of salt.
Learn about more ways to reduce salt in your diet from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
To schedule a nutrition counseling appointment at Grand View, call Jean at 215-453-4194.