How to Reduce Your Salt Intake?

According to the National Kidney Foundation, Americans consume 50 percent more than the recommended daily quantities of sodium.* Diets high in sodium can increase blood pressure and risk of heart disease and stroke. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and in New York City (NYC). If you already have elevated blood pressure, dietary sodium restriction can help lower your blood pressure.


The recommended limit is 2,300 mg of sodium per day. Everyone should limit the amount of sodium in their diet. Here are five tips to help you:


1) Ease into Change
Salt preference is an acquired taste that can be unlearned. Cut down on salt gradually, over a few weeks or even months. You’ll be less likely to notice a difference.


2) Check the Labels
Foods with lots of sodium don’t always taste salty, so always check the Nutrition Facts label and compare labels when buying food.


3) Wash Your Food
If you must buy canned foods (such as beans, tuna, and vegetables), rinse them before preparing.


4) Eat Unprocessed Meat
More than 75 percent of the sodium we eat comes from food that has been processed and packaged, and then sold at stores and restaurants–not from the salt shaker. Use fresh, rather than packaged meat (salami, bologna).


5) Choose a Heart-Healthy Diet: DASH
The DASH eating plan (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is a simple heart-healthy diet that can help prevent or lower high blood pressure. The DASH diet is high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats like plant oils or fish. Small amounts of low-fat dairy and nuts are also included. Red meat, processed foods and beverages that contain too much sugar and sodium are limited.


Related news
To cut excessive sodium intake, the New York City Health Department leads the National Salt Reduction Initiative (NSRI), which aims to reduce population sodium intake by 20 percent. By collaborating with more than 100 health partners, the department has been making steady progress towards the goal. Read more>>


*Sodium is a mineral. When combined with chloride, it is known as salt. Most of the sodium we consume is in the form of salt.