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5 tips to reduce your salt intake

Reduce salt

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;
  • Cheese;
  • 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

  Tableau herbes_ang

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.

Tableau sodium_ang

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.

Alyssa Fontaine, Dt.P.

Nutrition supervisor at Nautilus Plus, member of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec and holder of a bachelor’s degree from McGill University, Alyssa joined the Nautilus Plus team in January 2014. She developed an interest in healthy nutrition at a very young age, inspired by her grandmother’s large vegetable garden and her iron health still going strong at over 90 years of age. Proper nutrition and an active lifestyle are the secrets to a long life. An avid outdoor enthusiast, Alyssa exercises regularly and shares her tips to living a balanced lifestyle acknowledging that she does have a sweet tooth. She is the proud spokesperson for the «Zero Diet» brand and she is being followed more and more on social networks.

5 tips to reduce your salt intakeis a post from I'm taking charge. I'm taking charge is a blog that aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
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