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Are you eating too much salt?

Eating too much salt can cause high blood pressure because salt contains sodium, which can increase the amount of fluid in your blood vessels. This can put extra strain on your heart and blood vessels, leading to high blood pressure over time. In addition, high levels of sodium can also disrupt the balance of other important minerals in your body, such as potassium, which can also contribute to high blood pressure.

How much salt is hidden in our foods? The amount of hidden salt in food can vary widely depending on the type of food, the recipe, and the manufacturer. Many processed and packaged foods, such as soups, sauces, condiments, and snacks, are often high in sodium. Even foods that don't taste salty, such as bread, cereal, and cheese, can contain significant amounts of hidden salt. It's important to read nutrition labels and check the sodium content of packaged foods, and to choose fresh, whole foods whenever possible to help control your salt intake. The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, and ideally aiming for 1,500 milligrams per day for most adults.

Here are some tips for cutting back on salt in your daily diet.

  1. Cook at home using fresh ingredients: Cooking your meals at home using fresh, whole ingredients can help you control the amount of salt in your food.

  2. Use salt-free seasonings and herbs: Experiment with different herbs, spices, and seasonings to add flavor to your food without relying on salt.

  3. Read nutrition labels: Be sure to read the nutrition labels on packaged foods and choose options with lower sodium content.

  4. Rinse canned foods: Rinse canned vegetables, beans, and other foods to remove some of the salt they may contain.

  5. Limit your intake of processed foods: Processed and packaged foods, such as chips, crackers, and frozen meals, are often high in sodium.

  6. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables: Fresh fruits and vegetables are naturally low in sodium, and can help you stay full and satisfied.

  7. Avoid adding salt at the table: Instead of adding salt to your meals at the table, try using a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice for extra flavor.

By making these simple changes to your diet, you can reduce your sodium intake and promote better health.

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