Have you ever been told you need to cut back on your sodium intake? Sodium, also known as salt, tends to get a bad rap in the nutrition and health world. Fun fact, your body actually needs sodium! The issue is that many people consume more than double the amount of what their body actually needs. When too much sodium is consumed, it puts the individual at risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
The USDA’S Dietary Guidelines recommend no more than 2300 milligrams, about one teaspoon, per day. Sodium can sneak its way into your daily life in a variety of ways:
• Sodium is naturally occurring in some foods.
• Sodium could be added in the cooking process through table salt and sauces.
• Most processed foods contain a high amount of sodium to make them last longer on the grocery shelves. When deciding what to eat or drink, choose options that are full of nutrients and limited in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium.
Here are eight ways to help you stay within the USDA’S recommendations for sodium intake: 1. Eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables which contain different colors.
2. When purchasing frozen or canned vegetables, choose the lowsodium options or no salt added.
3. Select processed foods that contain 140 milligrams or less per serving of sodium.
4. Skip the pre-season meat and opt for fresh or frozen poultry, beef, and seafood.
5. Try to cook more meals at home so that you are in charge of what goes into your food. Go easy on the sauces.
6. Instead of using salt as your primary seasoning, try using different herbs and spices (article coming soon on cooking with herbs and spices instead of salt).
7. Choose your condiments wisely; read the nutrition labels. Be mindful of how much sauce, gravy, salsa, ketchup, soy sauce, marinade, or dressing you’re using. The sodium from these can add up quickly.
8. Taste your food before you salt it.
Sodium is something that can add up really fast if we do not pay close attention to it! Remember, it is okay to remain slightly salty, but we should aim to stay at 2300 milligrams (1/3 tsp) or below.
– Sources sighted from K-State, Katherine Pinto Stop by the extension office for more information about health, wellness and nutrition, family financial management, family relationships or leadership and community development information contact Janis Risley, FCS Educator at 918775-4838.