Are you worried about salt in your diet? Well, if your face feels puffy, clothes are a little tighter, or ankles are a little swollen, chances are, you’re right to wonder about salt and sodium in your diet. There are several things you can do in just 3 weeks to reduce bloating, lower your salt and sodium intake, and lower your cravings for it. Read on to find out how.
On average, American adults eat more than 3400mg sodium per day - that’s almost double the limit that the American Heart Association recommends for a healthy heart.
The American Heart Association recommends around 1500mg sodium per day. If you are eating all packaged meals and not adding extra salt, this means that each meal should be no more than 500mg sodium. Try it out, it's tougher than it looks!
Learning to read nutrition labels, and adding up the sodium in different foods each day will help you get a handle on your dietary sodium and salt intake. Practice by changing a few things every week for 3 weeks. Each week, visit the grocery store, and compare your favorite brands with others to see how they stack up - are they higher in sodium? Or lower?
75 to 80% of the salt in the U.S. diet comes from processed foods, not from salt added during food preparation or consumption. Stay away from prepared sauces and canned foods, your heart will thank you.
When in doubt, remember the 6 main culprits of added salt and sodium in the diet: bread, processed meats, pizza, poultry, soups, and sauces. Avoiding processed food and eating as healthfully and naturally as possible will always eliminate the question of sodium. But if you do have a lot of sodium in a day, to reduce the bloating and fluid retention, and to help keep blood pressure in-check, add foods rich in potassium to naturally balance it out and help your body eliminate some of that extra sodium.