Manage Your Salt Intake for Health and Wellness

Salt Intake: Tips for Cutting Back


5 Easy Ways to Cut Back on Salt


Are You Salt-Sensitive?

The reason salt-sensitive people's blood pressure responds strongly to salt intake is through sodium's effect on blood volume. When you eat more salt, your blood pressure tends to rise and when you eat less salt, your blood pressure lowers.
What portion of the population is salt-sensitive? Some researchers have estimated that about a quarter of the American population with normal blood pressure is salt-sensitive, while about half of the people with high blood pressure seem to be salt-sensitive. The black population has demonstrated a greater susceptibility to salt sensitivity than the white population, adds Thierry-Palmer.

5 Steps to Less Salt

1. Pass Up Processed Foods
The Food Standards Agency of the United Kingdom estimates that 75% of salt intake comes from processed food. Some food companies are developing products with less sodium, so keep an eye out for sodium listed on food labels. Only small amounts of sodium occur naturally in foods, eating mostly natural, whole foods will help keep levels of sodium down.
2. Cut Back on Condiments
Always dress your sandwiches and burgers yourself. This way, you can not only control the amounts of condiments used, you can choose those that are lower in calories, fat, and sodium, such as:
  • Balsamic vinegar. 2 teaspoons has 14 calories, 0 grams fat, and 2 milligrams sodium
  • Mustard. 1 teaspoon has 10 calories, 0 grams fat, and 100 milligrams sodium
  • Pickle relish. 1 tablespoon has 21 calories, 0 grams fat, and 109 milligrams sodium
  • Horseradish. 2 teaspoons has 4 calories, 0 grams fat, and 10 milligrams sodium
  • Low-sodium light mayonnaise. 17 calories, 1.3 grams fat, and 27 milligrams sodium (the numbers may vary depending on brand).
  • Lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon). 8 calories, 0 grams fat, and 1 milligram sodium
Feel free to load on all the lettuce, tomato, and onion your heart desires. Each adds 5 calories or less per serving, and is mostly sodium-free.
3. Beware of Dressings and Sauces
If you think a little bit of dressing or sauce won't add that much sodium to your meal, think again. Take a gander at some of the dressing offered at the Jack in the Box fast-food restaurant:
Creamy Southwest Dressing (71-gram serving): 1,060 milligrams sodium
Bacon Ranch Dressing (71-gram serving): 810 milligrams sodium
Asian Sesame Dressing (71-gram serving): 780 milligrams sodium
4. Opt for Alternatives
Purchase a battery-operated pepper grinder and your favorite flavor of salt-free herb and spice blend (like Mrs. Dash). Then keep them front and center on your kitchen table to help you break the habit of salting your food.
5. Forgo Fast Food
Eating at fast-food chains may be fast and cheap, but you pay the price in calories, fat, and sodium. Many fast-food items are big on sodium. The following items, at a few top chains, topped the sodium scale:
                                       10 Tips for Cutting Back
1. Rethink tasty food. Less salt doesn't have to be bland or tasteless. Get creative with spices,vinegars, seeds, juices and more.
2. Go slow. Make a few changes at a time. Add tasty low-salt foods as you cut back on salty foods
you're used to.After a short while, your food will taste delicious with mucy less salt.
3. Eat fresh fruits and vegatables in season. Produce from farmers' markets, fruti stands and local grocers doesn't need added salt to taste delicious! Think apples, oranges, strawberries, sugar snap peas or carrots.
4. Go fresh or low-sodium. Addig your own seasonings to fresh meant or vegetables gives you more choices about your salt intake. Plus fresh foods usually give you more nutrients.
5. Know which foods are high in salt. Then you can make smart choices to avoid or limit these foods. For example, you could snack on a few unsalted nuts instead of salty chips or pretzels.
6. Flzvor foods with healthy fats. Small amounts of unsalted roasted nuts, avacados or olive, canola and peanut oils add flavor and nutrients to your food.
7. Read food labels. Check before yo buy canned, boxed, frozen or prepared foods and soups. Try to choose those with no more than 200 mg of sodium per serving.
8. At the table, taste befor yo shake.  use very little or no salt on foods that may already have been salted during cooking.
9. When you eat out, ask for less salt.  Order sauces and salad dressings on the side and use small amounts. Choose grilled meat rather than fried or breaded.
10. Eat smart and fast-food restaurants.  Fast foods can have a lot of sodium- especially the locwe-calorie choices. Ask how much sodium is in each menu item.
 Check labels on nonfat or low-fat processed foods. these often contain added sugar and salt for flavor.
                                                 Salty food is everywhere
Learn which foods are naturally salty. Watch out for the hidden salt in these foods:
1. Bacon                                8. Ketchup
2. Lunch meats                    9.fat-free salad dressings
3.Ham                                   10. Pizza
4.Hot Dogs                           11.Processed cheese
5.Olives                                12.Bagels
7. Soy Sauce
                                                        Beyond salt
Seasoning means more than just salt. Try these tricks from professional chefs:
Use dill, tarragon, parsley, basil, thyme, pepper, curry or other savory spices.
Use fresh or powered garlic or onion.
Squeeze citrus juices on foods. Try lemon, lime or orange.
Splash on a little vinigar. Try different kinds for a variety of flavors-balsamic, red wine, rice,
cider or malt.
Toss in flavorful seeds, such as caraway or fennel.
                                                 Your body needs salt
Some salt is part of a halthy diet. The sodium in salt:
> Controls how fluids move in and out of your body's cells.
>Regulates blood pressure.
>Helps send nerve impulses.
>Relaxes muscles, including the heart.
                                                 So what's the problem?
As with many other foods, you can eat too muchof a good tinkg. Too much salt in your diet
can gause high blood pressure-a major risk factor for heart deisease, stroke and kidney failure.
If you sometimes feel thirsty and bloated, you may be eating too much salt.
Salt is the common name for sodium choride-minerals your body needs. Most food labels list only the amount of sodium in a food.
                                                  What's your limit?
>People with high blood pressure, people over age 50 and Africian Americans shouldn't eat more than 1500 mg of sodium-about 5/8 teaspoon of salt a day.
> Everyone else should limit the daily amount to no more than 2300 mg of sodium, or 1 teaspoon ao salt.
But most people eat much more than that. American average 3400 mg of sodium, or about 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt a day.
                                                   Where's the salt?
Many foods naturally have some sodium. A grapefruit has 9 mg, 1/2 cup of raw clery has 54 mg, a meduim steamed artichoke has 79 mg.
But most of the soduim people eat come from salt that's added:
>77% comes from processed and resturant foods.
>12% occurs naturally in other foods
>11% comes from salt added to food at the table or when cooking
There are easy ways to eat only a healthy amount of salt.
                                                   Take charge of your salt
To find out if you need to cut back on salt:
1. Learn the amount of sodium that's healthy for you to eat in a day.
2. Read food labels on packaged foods that you eat.
3. Write down how much sodium you eat each day for 1 week.
4. Make a plan to slowly but surely lower the amount of salt you eat to be under your limit.
The more salt you eat, the more your taste buds crave. The less you eat, the less you want.
                                           Some salty standouts
You'll find sodium in some surprising and some not-so-suprising places.
these numbers can quickly add up to more sodium than you want to eat.

1 cup raisin bran=  354 mg
Tuna salad sandwich= 1300 mg
1 cup cottage cheese= 900 mg
1 tablespoon soy sauce= 1000 mg
1 cup canned chicken noodle soup=  1100 mg
1 cup reduced sodium chicken noodle soup= 820 mg
1/2 block prepared Ramen noodles assorted flavors= 800-900 mg
1 quarter pounder with cheese= 1333 mg
1/2 cup prepared pasta sauce= 500 mg
Extra crispy Fried Chicken Breast= 1010 mg
The Betty Lamarr Show will like to acknowledge the information provided in this segament and
was written by Laura Perkins, MLS, with Kay Clark