You often hear how salt is bad for you and that you should avoid it as much as possible. It is true that eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure, which can in turn; triple your risk of developing heart disease.
What is the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of salt? The Food Standards Agency says you should eat no more than 6 grams of salt a day.
6 grams of salt is about a teaspoon or 2,300 mg of sodium. That is not a lot considering that 75% of that amount is already in the everyday foods we eat (not including the salt we add).
If you haven't had your blood pressure checked recently - you should, just to make sure. It is heart health month, after all.
If it's high, you can help to lower it by decreasing your salt intake. Want to know how? Then
To reduce your salt intake:
- Always read labels on pre-packaged foods. If salt is one of the first 5 ingredients, you'll want to avoid it.
- Choose fresh, frozen, or canned foods without added salt.
- Select unsalted nuts or seeds. And when possible, cook with dried beans, peas, and lentils - the ones in the can have added salt.
- Limit the amount of salty snacks you eat, like chips and pretzels.
- Avoid adding canned vegetables to homemade dishes - fresh ones have much less sodium.
- Use unsalted, fat-free broths and bouillon cubes when making soups.
- Select fat-free or low-fat milk, low-sodium, low-fat cheeses, as well as low-fat yogurt.
- Specify what you want and how you want it prepared when dining out. Ask for your dish to be prepared without salt.
- Use spices and herbs to add flavor and enhance the taste of your food.