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5 Ways to Reduce Salt Intake that Reduces Cardiovascular Death Potential
It’s astounding how much salt we consume as a nation. Every type of food that we’ve come to know and love not only contains salt, but higher levels than we need. High levels of salt have been linked to a variety of risks, diseases and disorders, but there are some easy ways you can reduce salt intake.
The leading cause of death around the world is cardiovascular disease, with high blood pressure being one of the biggest factors. Salt in our diets is known to increase blood pressure and current estimates include one in three Americans will be developing high blood pressure due to their high sodium diet. Salt causes the body to hold excess fluids which adds an extra burden to the heart as well as increasing risk factors for stroke, osteoporosis, kidney disease and stomach cancer. One of the very scary factors is that in the U.S. alone, 97% of children to adolescents consume too much salt, adding their risk factor up the scale for getting cardiovascular problems as they age.
The first step to reduce salt is to start to be aware of where to look for it. Reading labels may not sound like a fun hobby, but the labels on the processed and prepackaged food that we buy can be a major help. Salt has historically been used as a preservative and people just got used to the taste. Manufacturers have continued this practice and only now are marketing products as low sodium. Americans consume 3,436 mg of salt per day, when health experts are advising 1,500 mg per day.
Another step is to change your habits at the dinner table. I can’t tell you how many people grab for the salt, before they have even tasted the food. It’s a bad habit and a real easy one to break.
A third step isn’t quite as simple, as it requires you to begin altering what you actually eat. We have grown to love and expect the taste of salt, not realizing that we aren’t tasting the food as well. When you taste your food, and it doesn’t taste as salty as you like, try eating just a few more bites without salting it. What you will find out is you are getting the taste of the item, and not the salt. If that step isn’t to your liking, try substituting other herbs and spices for salt.
Fast food, as we know, isn’t good for us under any circumstances. While we are a nation addicted to being fast food junkies, limiting and reducing your trips to that favorite drive-thru and instead, substituting a healthy meal as well as the addition of fruits and vegetables is a good way to reduce salt in your diet.
Junk food is packed with sodium. From chips to the various other munchies that we seem to crave, we are adding more salt than we need. Learn to change your habits and grab something healthy instead of the junk food.
Take this advice from someone who was forced to change to a non-salt diet, you will be surprised at how easy it is, when you can make your own choices to reduce salt.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.