Do recent headlines about sodium make your head spin?
Do you know how much sodium is in your diet, considering that a single teaspoon of table salt has 2,325 milligrams of sodium? And, what about the sodium content of the processed and prepared food you eat?
Here’s the lowdown to help you sort sodium fact from hype.
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg daily, and just 1,500 mg daily for adults age 51 and older, African Americans and people with high blood pressure, diabetes, congestive heart failure or chronic kidney disease.
The bottom line - Nearly everyone could benefit from cutting down on sodium.
Get to know the “Salty Six” – the AHA’s listing of common foods that often tip the scales in sodium.
- Bread and rolls. Compare labels and choose those lower in sodium.
- Cold cuts and cured meats. Look for lower sodium versions of your favorite deli meats and go with smaller portions. Then build your sandwich tall with extra veggies!
- Pizza. Cheese adds lots of sodium. Order light cheese and heavy veggies!
- Poultry, especially fast food varieties. Fresh chicken is often injected with “enhancers” containing salt and additives to increase tenderness and juiciness of the meat. Read ingredients, even on fresh chicken.
- Soup. Use lower sodium broth in cooking – you could save 300+ mg of sodium per cup!
- Sandwiches. Sandwiches and burgers from fast food places can serve up more than 50% of your sodium allowance. Try half a sandwich then add a side salad, fruit or yogurt.