So you like salty food? Do you feel that your meals don’t have enough flavor if you don’t use that much salt? Well, we understand that, but high doses of sodium aren’t healthy for you. So here a few tips on how to eat less sodium, but still feel satisfied with your food!
Sodium can be found everywhere in nature, your body included. It is an essential nutrient, something you really need in order to survive. The optimal dose is somewhere between 2/3 of a teaspoon and 1 teaspoon, depending on your own organism.
So what does too much sodium do to your body? It pulls more water into your blood vessels and increases the volume of your blood, which leads to a higher blood pressure. Over a long time period, this can lead to heart disease.
So here is how you can protect your heart from being broken… by sodium.
7 steps to eat less sodium
1. What’s your optimal dose?
If you’re over 51 years old, African American, or have problems with diabetes, chronic kidney disease, a history of heart disease or hypertension, then you should only consume 1,500 milligrams of salt per day, 2/3 of a teaspoon. If you don’t fall into either of these categories, your doctor can tell you how much salt you should be consuming daily.
2. Find out how much salt you consume
Estimate by reading nutrition labels, comparing brands and their sodium, and checking out nutritional information for restaurant menus.
3. Change your sodium intake for 3 weeks
You can reprogram your taste buds in 3 weeks, which means that, if you keep your new sodium intake constant for 21 days, then you won’t need as much salt in your food.
4. Remove processed foods from your diet
Even if they don’t taste salty, they probably contain a large dose of sodium. So just try to eliminate or just cut down on the processed foods.
5. Take it step by step
Don’t change your menu overnight. Try to make baby steps in the direction you want. Remove the saltiest items from your menu first. Or at least half of them.
6. Use an app to track your sodium intake
Like Sodium Tracker, if you have an iPhone, and EZ Sodium Tracker if you have an Android phone.
7. Cook more at home
This way you can control better the salt quantity. Don’t salt the food while cooking, sprinkle it after the meal is ready. Use the larger crystal salt, because this way you tend to use less.