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The Worst and Best Things to Eat for Your Heart (Page 4)

Salt

Salt

Americans on average take in 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day. That’s a third more than the daily recommended limit of 2,300 mg (about 1 teaspoon salt) and more than double the 1,500 mg suggestion for adults age 51 and older and for anyone who is salt-sensitive (e.g., people who are African-American, those with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease)—about half the U.S. population. Cutting your sodium intake can help lower high blood pressure and also reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure.

One of the easiest ways to cut back on your salt intake is to not add it if you can’t taste it. In other words, don’t add salt to boiling water for pasta or potatoes, but add it to a dish when its impact will be strongest—usually at the end of cooking. A little salt goes a longer way if it’s sprinkled on a food just before serving; you’ll taste it in every bite.

Another way to slash your sodium intake is to replace sodium-laden processed foods with fresh foods. Other tricks: look for "low sodium" or "no-salt-added" labels and rinse canned beans.

Next: Added Sugars »


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