Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Laying Off the Salt

With the cold weather still lingering around us, nothing sounds better than making a nice cup of hot soup for lunch or dinner to warm you up. Not to mention that the food companies make it very convenient for you to heat up a quick cup of soup in the microwave or stove. 

Have you ever had a minute to take a look and see what is in your soup? Most cans of soups tend to be jam packed with a mineral called sodium. Sodium (also known as salt) is an essential mineral for our bodies but if we consume too much of it then it can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, kidney disease, or heart disease.

Many foods that we eat contain sodium because it is naturally present. Other foods such as processed foods have added salt in them to preserve the food item. An example of this would be canned soup or frozen dinners you find the freezer aisle at the grocery stores. Sodium is needed in our body to help maintain the balance of body fluids and help nerves and muscles work properly. We do need to get our sodium intake but in moderation. Aim for no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. Some people may even need to consume less than that. If you are middle aged or older or have high blood pressure then you should aim to get at the most 1,500 mg of sodium per day. 

Here are a few tips to help you lower your sodium.

-          Buy fresh, frozen, or no salt added canned vegetables

-          Choose foods labeled low sodium, no salt added, or sodium free

-          Do not add salt to the water when cooking beans, rice, pasta, or vegetables

-          Cut back on meats high in sodium such as ham, hot dogs, and sausage

-          Cut back on consuming canned soups unless they are listed as low sodium

-          Fill your salt shaker with a mix of herbs and spices to use instead of salt to help give your food some flavor

Remember that we still do need to consume sodium so don’t cut it off your menu completely. It is all about the moderation!

Blog post by Krista Post.

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