Americans consume about 3,200 to 5,000mg of sodium per day. This is one main reason hypertension, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke occur. The FDA says not to consume more than 2,300mg a day. However, if you can try to eat only 1500mg a day, this is the best recommendation to avoid disease. Think of 2300mg as the limit. It is manageable but still high, and you need to take more precautions.
Sodium is essential for your body, so you don’t want to avoid it because you need it. The real problems occur through excess. It is the excessiveness that does the damage. Much like saturated fat, it is not bad for you; people just eat way too much of it. Foods are not really bad for you if you moderate them. However, it is hard to moderate something when it is added and present in all the foods you buy and eat. So, the best way to regulate your sodium is by changing your diet and eating some foods that will help balance sodium.
How To Cut Back On Sodium
Eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Instead of buying frozen or canned vegetables, what you can do is cut them up and put them in the freezer when you buy them. If you put the fresh vegetables in the freezer, they will maintain their potency from the day of the freshness that you froze them.
Track Your Intake
Think of your sodium as a daily allowance credit card that you can only spend so much. This can help you to make healthier choices, avoid processed foods and snacks loaded with salt.
Reading the labels on food is important. Just because it says low sodium, take it with a grain of salt. Companies will often use different wording and tricks to say their product is low in sodium. Low sodium means 140mg or less per serving.
Avoid Processed Foods
Avoid processed, convenient foods. Processed food, frozen prepared foods, snacks, sauces, canned food, etc., all contain lots of salt. For example, frozen packaged vegetarian burgers are incredibly high in sodium. So, you have to be careful of the appearance of health from a product like a frozen vegan burger. Even some healthy snacks say they are healthy, like energy bars. You may think they are healthy, but they are not.
Avoid Fast Foods
Prepare your own food. This way, you can control the sodium level. Also, by adding spices and herbs, you enhance the flavor and taste of the food and will not need to add salt. Preparation is one of the problems with eating food. The reason fast food and prepackaged snacks and meals are so popular.
If you eat a very high sodium meal, eat some foods high in potassium. Potassium and sodium are paired electrolytes that work together. Eating the potassium will help flush out excess sodium. Fruits and veggies high in potassium are bananas, oranges, potatoes, beans, and avocados.
Strength training your taste is the best way to avoid eating excessive sodium. If you eat and use a lot of salt, it makes it difficult to eat food without it. Salt is addictive so try to eat low sodium first. Then, try no sodium. Don’t just go cold turkey. Ween down your sodium levels, so you are not eating your salt with a carrot. Much like I say, do you want some coffee with your sugar.
Read More: Should Young Athletes Worry About Their Salt Intake?