Food and wine are two of the biggest drivers of sodium consumption in America, but they’re also a big source of added salt.
Here are 10 common ways to avoid the problem.
Avoid foods with lots of salt.
Low-salt foods can add salt to your meal and can increase the chances of overeating.
The good news is that you can easily replace these foods with low-sodium alternatives, like rice and beans.
But the problem is that they don’t taste nearly as good as salt-packed foods.
And if you’re looking for low-fat options, they can add more salt than they replace.
Avoid refined sugar.
Sugar isn’t as bad as it used to be, but it can be a source of high levels of sodium.
It’s important to avoid refined sugar as well as sugar-sweetened drinks, which can be more salty than their sugar-free counterparts.
Avoid salt-laden desserts.
Sugary desserts are a common source of sodium in our diets, but a healthy snack is one of the best ways to cut back on the amount of sodium you’re eating.
Sugar-sweeten foods like candy and chocolate are often added to desserts, but sugar-flavored beverages like juice and sports drinks can be made with salt-free ingredients.
Reduce your sodium intake with exercise.
You’ll likely feel less salty when you do moderate amounts of exercise, but this won’t eliminate the need to add salt.
A high-salty diet, like a Mediterranean diet, can help you reduce sodium intake.
Limit processed meats and processed foods.
Many processed foods, like meat and dairy, contain a lot of sodium, but these foods also have a lot more saturated fat than the same foods without added salt and other trans fats.
This can lead to a higher risk of heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.
Limit the amount you eat at once.
If you eat more than once a day, it can take a toll on your sodium levels, which makes it important to limit how much you eat each day.
This is especially important if you want to lose weight or to reduce your overall sodium intake by cutting out processed foods and limiting processed meats.
Use the salt and sugar calculator to estimate how much sodium you should be getting in your meals and snacks.
It’ll tell you how much salt to avoid and how much to add.
Try the low-calorie foods for low sodium.
These low-carb and ketogenic diets can lower your sodium consumption, so you’ll likely find that your overall consumption of sodium is lower than you would if you went with a high-carb, high-fat, or moderate-protein diet.
Choose low-glycemic index foods.
These foods are high in sugar, carbs, and fiber, so they’ll reduce your sodium content while still providing a good source of fiber.
These are foods that people who are overweight or have metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, high cholesterol) might want to avoid.
Try eating your vegetables and fruits with fewer salt and processed food.
This will also help you lower your salt intake, but the more processed foods you eat, the more sodium you’ll be eating.