Starting a Low Sodium Diet

Salt is a major part of the American diet. It’s one thing that can be added to almost any food to improve or intensify flavor and taste. However, adding salt to food also increases the amount of sodium in the food. Consuming less sodium is a healthier choice for everyone.

The important thing to remember about cutting down on sodium, is not to quit using salt cold turkey. Your taste buds will go into shock and food will have no taste, which will make you less likely to stay on the diet.

Everyone only needs 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, which is about a teaspoon of salt. Instead, people consume nearly 3,400 milligrams a day, which leads to health complications like high blood pressure or clogged arteries. It’s actually really simple to eliminate salt from your diet and not miss it, which usually takes about 2 or 3 weeks.

With any diet, it’s important to check with your doctor before you begin. Start by eliminating canned foods with frozen foods, like buying frozen corn instead of canned corn, although thoroughly washing canned corn can reduce the sodium content inside the can.

Thankfully, many processed foods have reduced or low sodium labels so it’s simpler for consumers to find lower sodium food options in a grocery store. Asking for low sodium options at a deli counter is a good idea as well, as the staff can help with the options.

There are some major sodium heavy foods to avoid completely, although they are also some of the most accessible and most eaten. These foods are bread, processed meats, sports drinks, salad dressing, all fast food (from a drive-thru), boxed noodles like ramen, pickles, spaghetti sauce, and condiments.

Double checking labels on these sodium heavy foods are a good way to find the lowest sodium options.