Sodium is imperative for the body to maintain various functions, but too much can be detrimental to your health.
The main source of sodium in the modern diet is salt, which the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends adults consume no more than 5 grams of per day. Five grams, which is a little less than a teaspoon, can be hard to stay under in today’s world when salt hides everywhere. While some people should be aware of their salt intake for health reasons such as high blood pressure, risk of heart attack or risk of stroke, everyone should be aware of the risks of high sodium intake and how to avoid the side effects.
The best ways to reduce salt from your diet are:
- Don’t double salt. You’re cooking at home and the recipe says to add a half teaspoon of salt to the recipe. Once you’re finished cooking and you’ve sat down to eat, leave the saltshaker in the spice cabinet. Adding more salt to the meal after it’s been cooked is an easy way to go over your daily sodium limit—but it’s also an easy step to avoid.
- Monitor your snacks. Choosing healthier snacks like fruits and veggies or other low sodium foods instead of processed salty snacks like chips can be an easy way to reduce sodium intake.
- Shop with awareness. See a low-sodium option of that one item on your grocery list? Snag that instead of your regular go-to. Simply choosing low-sodium versions of foods can significantly reduce sodium intake. Low-sodium soy sauce has 40% less sodium than regular soy sauce, according to Kikkoman, a popular brand.
The main benefit of reducing salt intake is lower blood pressure. A common misconception according to WHO is that only older people need to watch their sodium levels when, in fact, high sodium intake can cause raised blood pressure at any age, as well as increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. High amounts of salt in your diet can also lead to water retention and bloating. Take the steps listed above to become more aware of your sodium intake and live a healthier life.
Content by Lockton Dunning Benefits with inform from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/salt-reduction