You may be consuming way more salt that you realize.
According to mayoclinic.com, "about 11 percent of the sodium in the average U.S. diet comes from adding salt or other sodium-containing condiments to foods while cooking or eating. But the majority of the sodium — 77 percent — comes from eating prepared or processed foods that contain the mineral."
In orther words, normal foods we eat each day have plenty (plus more) sodium to suffice in order to get the recommended daily amount of 1,500-2,300 milligrams without adding salt to your meals. While sodium is essential to our bodies, we need to be careful not to exceed an healthy amount, as the average adult consumes half or more the daily recommended amount.
How can we easily lessen our daily sodium intake?
- First and foremost, read labels and pay attention to serving size amounts. Many times what looks like a small amount of sodium can actually be a lot when realizing how many servings are actually eaten.
- Remember that most processed and prepackaged foods are going to be high in sodium.
- Always buy the "no salt added", "less salt", or "low sodium" versions of foods.
- Rinse, rinse, rinse! You can greatly reduce the amount of sodium in canned products such as beans, tuna, salmon, etc simply by rinsing the contents before use.
- Buy frozen or fresh veggies rather than canned.
- Try using other seasonings rather than salt. A great alternative is Mrs. Dash no salt seasonings which can be found at almost anywhere seasonings are sold.
- If a recipe calls for salt, simply omit it.
While at first it might sound hard to reduce your sodium intake, it only takes a few weeks for our taste buds to adjust and most people find that they don't even miss it!