Most Americans like the taste of salt. Would you say you like salt? We all know we should watch our intake of salt. That is easier said than done. Salt does play a role in high blood pressure. Anyone over the age of 51 is at a greater risk and those with high blood pressure, diabetes and chronic kidney disease especially need to be careful. The goal for these is 1,500 mg of sodium a day. What can you do to decrease your salt intake.
Follow these tips:
1. Processed foods such as pizza, bacon, sausage, hot dogs, deli/lunch meats and ready to eat food like canned chili, ravioli and soups have lots of sodium in them. Check the label and eat these foods less often.
2. Fill up on fruits and vegetables. This group of foods is naturally low in sodium. Eat plenty of them fresh, frozen or canned.
3. Skip the salt. Use half the salt a recipe call for. Instead of salt use spices, herbs, garlic, vinegar or lemon juice. Put the salt shaker so it is not easy to reach.
4. Read the label. Compare the amount of salt in different brands. Look for brands that are "low sodium", "reduced sodium", or "no salt" added.
5. Pay attention to condiments. Foods like soy sauce, ketchup, pickles, olives, salad dressings and seasoning packets are high in sodium. Use only a sprinkling of flavoring packets instead of the whole package. Consider using salt-free seasonings.
6. Eat more potassium. Foods with potassium such as potatoes, beet greens, tomato juice and sauce, sweet potatoes, beans (white, lima, kidney) and bananas may help lower your blood pressure.