It makes potato chips and french fries taste divine and it gives pork that killer flavor. But too much salt can wreck serious havoc on your health (high blood pressure, excessive water retention, osteoporosis, stomach cancer, etc...). And it may be lurking in more foods than you think. Â Not sure if youâ€™re maxing out your sodium intake? Check out these tips on avoiding too much salt in your diet:
- Check food labels for sodium content. The average adult really only needs about 2000 milligrams of salt a day. However, many adults consume up to 5000 milligrams daily!
- Watch serving size. Many packaged foods are deceiving. What may look like a single serving size with low sodium content, may actually be two or three servings. Carefully read food labels to calculate how much sodium youâ€™re consuming.
- Limit processed foods. These foods use salt as an additive and make up the majority of excess salt in peopleâ€™s diets.
- Go easy on the condiments. Ketchup, mustard, pickles, and relish are all high in sodium.
- Reevaluate the contents of your sandwich. Cold cuts, ham, bacon, and cheese have high amounts of salt.
- Rethink Mexican night. Salsa and tortilla chips both are high in sodium. Also, most taco seasoning packets contain too much sodium.
- Stick with fresh produce when you get the munchies. Typical snacks (chips, pretzels, etc...) are extremely high in sodium. Fresh fruits and vegetables, however, are high in potassium (which works to combat the effects of salt on blood pressure).
- Got a craving for a salty meal or snack? Try cutting back on the salt when you cook. Keep your taste buds happy by adding flavorful sodium-free seasonings. Also, rinse canned foods to remove excess salt and when you do buy ready-made foods, look for low-sodium versions.
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