5 tips to reduce your salt intake
Sugar and fat have always been in the spotlight, but sodium is a silent killer that we all tend to forget about. Sodium is a mineral found in salt and the recommended daily intake for a healthy adult is 1500 mg. However, the average Canadian consumes 3400 mg! While your body needs salt to function, too much salt can lead to cardiovascular problems, kidney problems, and high blood pressure.
1. Always compare nutrition labels
Choose products that contain less than 15% of your daily value of sodium (less than 360 mg), or choose the no added salt or reduced salt version when available. Please note that the percent daily value on nutrition labels is based on 2400 mg rather than the recommended intake of 1500 mg per day.
2. Familiarize yourself with foods high in sodium
- Cans or jars: pickles, olives, canned legumes, soups;
- Condiment sauce: soy sauce, steak sauce, teriyaki, ketchup;
- Processed meat: bacon, sausage, cold cuts;
- Salty snacks: popcorn, pretzels, chips, crackers;
- Grain products: cereal, bread, muffin, bagel, pre-flavoured rice/pasta package;
- Tomato base products;
- Frozen dinners.
3. Keep the saltshaker away from the table
1 tsp of salt contains 2300 mg of sodium, so keep the saltshaker away from the dinner table. Progressively cut down on salt in your cooking and your taste buds will adapt. Whether it’s sea salt or fleur de sel, remember that salt always has a similar amount of sodium.
4. Enhance your taste buds with fresh herbs and spices
5. Stay away from fast food
Try and go to fast food joints as little as possible. Check out the nutritional information in the links at the end of the article and pay attention to sodium. For now, here are a few examples that might surprise you.
Remember that 1500mg is what we are supposed to take in a day, not in a meal!
Which fast food item surprised you the most?
By: Alyssa Fontaine
Dietitians of Canada. 2013. Cook it up healthy! Make your tastebuds tingle! Online. “http://www.dietitians.ca/Nutrition-Resources-A-Z/Factsheets/Meal-Planning-and-Cooking/Make-your-Tastebuds-Tingle.aspx”. Page viewd on August 5, 2014.
Dietitians of Canada. 2014. Food Sources of Sodium. Online. “http://www.dietitians.ca/Nutrition-Resources-A-Z/Factsheets/Minerals/Food-Sources-of-Sodium.aspx”.Page viewed on August 5, 2014
Health Canada. Sodium in Canada.Online. “http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/sodium/index-eng.php”. Page viewed on August 5, 2014.
Tim Hortons.2013.Nutrition Guide. Online. “http://www.timhortons.com/ca/en/pdf/TH_Nutrition_Guide_CE_2013_-_FINAL.pdf”. Page viewed on August 5, 2014.
Culture. 2013. Summary of Nutrition Facts. Online. “http://www.culturesrestaurants.com/menu/Cultures_Nutritional_Facts_18JAN2013.pdf”. Page viewed on August 5, 2014.
Mcdoalds. 2014. Nutrition Facts. Online. “
http://www1.mcdonalds.ca/NutritionCalculator/NutritionFactsEN.pdf”. Page viewed on August 5, 2014.
Subway. 2014. Canada Nutrition Information. Online. <http://www.subway.com/Nutrition/Files/CanNutritionValues.pdf.Page viewed on August 5, 2014.