How to reduce your salt intake?


Salt, although essential for a healthy body, must be consumed in small amounts, (1500 milligrams) being adequate, and 2300 mg. per day tolerable, on a daily basis.

Sodium is a mineral that occurs in sodium chloride (table salt) and in many foods i.e meat, milk, fruits, vegetables, and seafood.

Processed foods contain high amounts of salt and studies show that 77 per cent of the salt consumed in Canada occurs in processed or packaged foods, restaurant and take out foods.

Salt is a preservative and has been used fro millennia to preserve food. In most cases, the salt used for preservation is removed by soaking before cooking (think dried cod, feta cheese).

For most people, salt means sodium chloride, but all sodium (i.e disodium phosphate, MSG, sodium alginate, sodium benzoate, sodium bicarbonate aka baking soda, sodium hydroxide, sodium nitrate, sodium propionate, and sodium sulphite) fall into the salt category.

Read processed food labels carefully before deciding to buy processed or manufactured food.

It must be noted that the amount 1500- 2300 mg./day sodium intake applies to populations living in moderate climate countries of the world. In hot countries, salt intake must be increased since perspiration removes salt from the body.

Here are some foods with high sodium content – 75 grams of baked bacon 1700 mg; 75 gr. deli pork or beef 1500mg,; baking soda (one tsp.) 1280 mg.; bouillon (I cube) 4 gr. 1000mg: soy sauce (1 tbsp.) 900 mg., 60 gr. Pretzels 800 mg; and canned tomato soup with two per cent milk (250 ml.) 800.

A good idea is to eliminate all convenience-, take out-, manufactured food) i.e cookies, cakes, some breads), salty cheeses, and preparing your food from scratch.

In many restaurants, cooks use very little salt, knowing that several clients add salt even before tasting the food Some restaurants refrain from putting salt and pepper shakers on teh table. You have to request it.

Old people are particularly prone to over salt due to loss of some of their taste buds.

Here are some high sodium ciontent foods you may want to avoid: lemon-herbs one-step seasoning, vegetable soup mix; salted mixed nuts; dill pickles with garlic, buffalo wings (manufactured).