(This article appeared previously on Grandparents.com)
The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend less than 2300 mg of sodium a day. If you’re over 51, African American, or have high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease or diabetes, you should limit it to under 1500 mg.
Our Sodium Intake Is Off the Charts
The problem: According to the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, the estimated average intake of sodium for Americans ages 2 and older is approximately 3400 mg per day.
As for foods in your home, here are the eight worst sodium offenders:
Here are five ways to lower the amount of sodium you eat ordrink:
- Read the nutrition labels. Sodium levels are clearly marked.
- Beware of misleading labels. “Food products that are labeled 'low fat' or 'low calorie' may be adding more salt to make up for taste,” says Johnson.
- Look for products labeled “low sodium” (contains less than 140 mg per serving), “very low sodium” (less than 35 mgs) or “sodium free” (less than five mgs). Also, check out products that carry the AHA’s Heart-Check endorsement. It means the product has less than 480 mg per serving.
- Learn to cook with reduced salt. You can boost flavor with herbs, spices and citruses such as lemon and lime. (Hint: Don’t use garlic salt or onion salt.) “You can train your taste buds to be accustomed to lower sodium intakes,” says Johnson.
- Check out the AHA’s Eat Less Salt book.
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