How to Reduce Sodium/Salt in Diet, Reduce Blood Pressure, Food Sources, Health Risks
The average Western diet is too high in sodium. In the US, average sodium-intake in the daily diet is 4,000-5,000 mg. In the UK, dietary sodium-intake averages 3,500 mg daily.
Dangers/Side Effects of Excess Sodium
Excess sodium intake is linked to: hypertension/high blood pressure and heart disease, fluid retention (oedema) and kidney stones. A high-sodium diet increases the need for potassium.
Sodium Diet Advice – 10 Recommendations
To help reduce your sodium intake, follow these 10 low-sodium suggestions:
- But “lower-sodium” foods in your diet, whenever possible.
- Check sodium-content on food labels: choose lower sodium brands.
- Don’t add salt when cooking.
- Go easy when adding salt at the table.
- Reduce intake of salty snacks.
- Reduce intake of fast food.
- Buy fresh cold meats instead of processed varieties.
- Buy lower-sodium breakfast cereals.
- Check canned foods for sodium content. If using foods canned in water, rinse thoroughly before eating.
- Switch from packet-soups to cans, or fresh varieties.
Sodium Diet Advice – Higher Sodium Foods to Avoid
If you need to reduce your sodium-intake, due (eg.) to high blood pressure, please reduce your consumption of these high-sodium foods.
- Hogmaws, ribs, and chitterlings.
- Smoked or cured meats like bacon, bologna, hot dogs, ham, corned beef, luncheon meats, and sausage.
- Canned fish like tuna, salmon, sardines, and mackerel. (Rinse before eating).
- Buttermilk – Although buttermilk is high in sodium, 1 percent or skim buttermilk can be used in cooking to replace whole milk or fat.
- Most cheese spreads and cheeses.
- Salty chips, nuts, pretzels, or pork rinds.
- Some cold (ready to eat) cereals highest in sodium, instant hot cereals.
- Quick cooking rice and instant noodles, boxed mixes like rice, scalloped potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and some frozen dinners, pot pies and pizza.
- Regular canned vegetables.
- Pickled foods like herring, pickles, relish, olives, or sauerkraut.
- Regular canned soups, instant soups.
- Butter, fatback, and salt pork.
- Soy sauce, steak sauce, salad dressing, ketchup, barbecue sauce, garlic salt, onion salt, seasoned salts like lemon pepper, bouillon cubes, meat tenderizer, and monosodium glutamate (MSG).