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February 12, 2018 • Healthy Eating & Nutrition

How to Keep Dangerous Levels of Salt/ Sodium Out of Your Diet

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High levels of salt/sodium in the diet are linked to a long list of modern-day maladies—from cancer to heart disease to dementia. Take heed of the guidance that follows to keep dangerous levels of salt and sodium out of your diet.

  • To have success in maintaining a healthy sodium intake, you MUST limit your intake of processed foods and fast foods, as well as dining out. The less, the better.
  • Check food labels. A useful guide is to avoid processed foods that contain more than 100 mg of sodium per 100 calories of food. Foods containing 480 mg or more of sodium per serving are considered “high sodium” foods. These should be avoided!
  • The foods that are the most notoriously high in sodium include: packaged deli meats, processed cheeses, pizza, processed meats (bacon, sausage, ham, etc.), condiments, canned soups, bottled salad dressings, canned vegetables, frozen dinners, salty snack foods (chips, pretzels, crackers, etc.), bottled tomato sauces, and sandwich breads. Consume these foods sparingly if at all or look for reduced-sodium varieties.
  • If you consume processed foods (which I hope you do not!), look for reduced or low-sodium varieties of processed foods. There is a growing availability of reduced sodium offerings for canned vegetables and beans, condiments, soups, luncheon meats, and cheeses. Look for them.
  • Prepare your own meals from whole foods and limit how much salt you add. Use more herbs and spices, lemon juice, or vinegar to add flavor while cutting down on salt. Herbs and spices are exploding with beneficial plant compounds.
  • When and if you feel the need to add salt to your meals or dishes to make them more palatable, use kosher or sea salt. Both have significantly less sodium per teaspoon than standard table salt in addition to providing a more robust “salty” flavor. So, you can get away with adding less salt for equal or even better flavor.
  • To replace salt in your meals and dishes, try convenient herb and spice blends like Mrs. Dash. Many different flavor varieties are now available in this line of healthy salt substitutes.

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