Here are some simple tips that can help cut down on the amount of sodium in your diet - from the foods you prepare to those you order when eating out.
- Use reduced sodium or no-salt-added products, such as no-salt-added canned vegetables or dry cereals that have no added salt.
- Be "spicy" instead of "salty"-in cooking, flavor foods with variety of herbs, spices, wine, lemon, lime, or vinegar. Be creative!
- Avoid the salt shaker on the table, or replace it with an herb substitute.
- Eat more whole, unprocessed foods-choose fewer processed, canned, and convenience foods.
- Avoid condiments such as soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, and MSG, or use lower sodium versions.
- Read food labels to become aware of high sodium foods and to select lowest sodium varieties. See tips below.
- Limit cured foods (such as bacon and ham), foods packed in brine (such as pickles, pickled vegetables, olives, and sauerkraut), and condiments such as mustard, horseradish, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Omit salt from recipes. Start by cutting amount of salt in half.
- Use lemon juice, vinegar, and herbs and spices to enhance flavor.
- Replace salt- and sodium-containing ingredients with lower sodium alternatives.
When eating out:
- Ask how foods are prepared. Ask that foods be prepared without added salt, MSG, or salt-containing ingredients. Most restaurants are willing to accommodate your request.
- Know the terms that indicate high sodium: pickled, soy sauce, in broth, cured.
- Move the salt shaker away.
- Limit such condiments as mustard, ketchup, pickles, and sauces with salt-containing ingredients.
- Choose fruits or vegetables, instead of salty snack foods.