Why not banish the salt shaker from your dining room table? Experts say kids and adults alike are eating too much sodium. Too much sodium can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure and can increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Salt doesn’t only come from the type you sprinkle on foods at the table or while cooking. Foods you eat in restaurants can also include high amounts of sodium. Processed and packaged foods are often high in sodium, such as crackers, canned soups, lunch meats and frozen dinners. Manufacturers use sodium to preserve foods and modify flavor.
Look at how much sodium is in one serving of these foods:
· Heinz Ketchup: 160 mg.
· McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese: 1110 mg.
· V8 Juice: 640 mg.
· Ragú Old World Style Traditional pasta sauce: 480 mg.
· Pizza Hut Pan Pizza, medium, pepperoni, 1 slice: 610 mg.
· Oscar Mayer Classic Wieners hot dogs: 410 mg.
Eat less sodium
Use the Nutrition Facts Label on product packages to find out how much sodium it contains. The amount of sodium per serving is listed in milligrams, abbreviated “mg.” Compare foods and choose the lowest sodium option.
Choose fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables with no added salt or sauce.
Choose packaged foods labeled “low sodium” or “no salt added.”
In restaurants, you can ask that no salt be added to your meal. Ask about low-sodium menu items. Also, limit your use of table salt, condiments such as soy sauce, and garnishes such as pickles or olives.
Are you worried your food won’t have enough flavor without salt? At home, you can season your food using healthy ingredients such as lemon juice, onion powder, cumin and salt-free seasonings. Swap chips and pretzels for trail mix using unsalted nuts, dried fruit and whole grain cereal.
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Heart Association, American Academy of Pediatrics
See your healthcare provider about your risk for developing high blood pressure and recommendations for what you and your family should eat. Make an appointment by calling 817-702-3431 or by using our online tool MyChart.