I’ve been trying to cut my sodium intake most of my adult life because of chronic high blood pressure, and a near-fatal clogged artery in 2012 that almost ended my life. But it wasn’t until my 2012 angioplasty that I really discovered how much salt is hidden in everything we eat in America, everything that’s processed or made at a restaurant, that is.
The Centers for Disease Controls has just such a resource, I discovered recently. It’s a page called How to Reduce Sodium with helpful tips.
For grocery shipping, it recommends:
- Buy fresh, frozen (no sauce), or no salt added canned vegetables.
- Use fresh poultry,* fish, pork,* and lean meat, rather than canned or processed meats.
- When available, buy low sodium, lower sodium, reduced sodium, or no salt added versions of products.
- Limit your use of sauces, mixes, and “instant” products, including flavored rice and ready-made pasta.
- Compare Nutrition Facts labels on food packages for Percent Daily Value or amount of sodium in milligrams.
All great advice I echo here in my posts, and on my ingredient and recipe pages.
Eating out presents many, many more challenges because salt is in everything in massive amounts. Here are the eating out tips:
- Check online for nutritional information before you go if you are eating at a chain restaurant or fast-food outlet. Some independent restaurants also post this information on their Web sites.
- Ask your server for information about the amount of sodium in your food. Sometimes this information is printed on the menu.
- Request that no salt be added to your food.
- Beware of hidden sources of sodium such as sauces and dressings, and ask for these toppings on the side.
I always check nutritional info online before going to anyplace I haven’t eaten before.