If you’re looking to lower your sodium intake but are still trying to figure out where or how to start, this article has covered you. We’ll look at some easy-to-follow advice that can help get your sodium consumption under control and keep it there.
From little everyday changes like cooking from scratch and reading nutrition labels to reducing portion sizes and using alternative seasoning blends, we’ll show you exactly how to reduce your daily salt intake for the optimal health benefits of a low-sodium diet. Here are the top tips for lowering the amount of sodium in your diet.
Cook meals from scratch
Cooking meals from scratch is one of the best ways to reduce sodium consumption. While processed and packaged foods often contain large amounts of sodium, preparing food at home allows individuals to control what ingredients they use and leaves room for creativity in the kitchen. Cooking meals from scratch can result in tastier dishes due to the high-quality ingredients used instead of those contained in pre-made options.
Furthermore, homemade dishes can be made with less time than it takes to buy takeout or eat out. Ultimately, cooking at home with fresh, whole ingredients helps people more easily limit their sodium intake and improve their overall health.
Use herbs and spices to season food
One suggestion for lowering sodium intake is to use herbs and spices rather than salt or salty condiments to season food. Herbal and spicy flavours can add a spicy zestiness to meals and help reduce the need for added salt or salty sauces. Chopping fresh herbs or using dry spices for roasts, stews, soups, and casseroles are excellent ways to inject extra flavour into meals while simultaneously limiting one’s sodium intake.
Seasoning with herbs and spices can create flavorful dishes that still respect an individual’s dietary goals while providing a more nuanced culinary experience.
Read nutrition labels
One way to lower sodium intake is to read nutrition labels, allowing for informed decisions about what products to purchase and consume. Reading nutrition labels can help track the amount of sodium one eats daily and provide insight into unhealthy habits. Since the recommended daily sodium intake for most healthy adults should be no more than 2,300mg, selecting products with lower amounts of salt whenever possible is crucial.
Reading nutrition labels can provide helpful information so individuals can curb excessive sodium consumption and achieve healthy salt levels while still enjoying a variety of good-tasting foods.
Avoid processed or pre-packaged foods
A great way to reduce your sodium intake is by avoiding processed or pre-packaged foods, which are often high in sodium. For instance, many frozen meals contain too much salt for one single meal and should be avoided if possible. Rather than buying prepared meals, consider making homemade versions of your favourite recipes with fresh ingredients, which typically have fewer additives, including sodium.
Choose low-sodium alternatives
Reducing the consumption of sodium is an essential part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. A way to achieve this goal is to select low-sodium alternatives when shopping for food and eating out. Supermarkets and restaurants often offer numerous options for those looking to reduce their sodium intake. Whenever possible, look for foods labelled “low sodium” or “no salt added”. These simple steps can help you reduce your daily sodium intake while enjoying delicious meals.
Use less salt when cooking and at the table
An easy way to reduce salt intake is to use less when cooking. Start by reducing the salt you usually use in your favourite recipes. You will still get delicious flavour without as much sodium. Additionally, try using other seasonings like garlic, pepper, and herbs for a tasty and healthy alternative. You can also opt for low-sodium or sodium-free versions of condiments or prepared meals, which often contain high amounts of sodium.
Finally, remember to limit the use of table salt; simply seasoning food before eating can drastically reduce your overall sodium consumption. With these helpful tips, you can start making healthier choices today and decrease your sodium intake.
Reduce portion sizes
Reducing portion sizes is a viable method of lowering sodium consumption. As the American diet tends to be high in both carbohydrate and fat content, reducing portion sizes in meals can lead to significant changes in sodium intake. Consuming fewer calories generally leads to less sodium overall, as processed, high-sodium foods tend to be calorie-dense.
Additionally, eating more slowly helps us identify when we are full and thus eat fewer calories overall. It can also result in decreased sodium intake. Taking the time to savour each bite may also make us more satisfied with more miniature food. By moderating portion sizes daily, one can substantially lower their total sodium intake and preserve their health.
Drink water instead of sodas or other sweetened beverages
A way to help individuals lower their sodium consumption and improve their overall health is drinking more water instead of sodas or other sweetened beverages. This simple habit can save individuals loads of calories and reduce their risk of developing certain medical conditions. Additionally, many studies have shown that drinking plenty of water throughout the day positively impacts one’s physical and mental well-being.
Choosing water over sugary beverages will benefit your short-term health and your long-term quality of life. Replacing sugary drinks with a glass of refreshing H2O could be a critical factor in improving your sodium intake.
Adam Mulligan did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.