A recent federal study has been released showing that 9 out of 10 Americans take in more than the maximum recommended intake of sodium on a daily basis. The recommended intake is 2,300 mg per day and a combination of eating out, buying processed foods and not monitoring sodium intake can quickly put you over the limit. If you are one of the Americans that take in too much sodium, there are some steps you can take to lower your intake.
1. Cook Your Own Food. Most sodium comes into your diet from processed foods. Sodium adds flavor and acts as a great preservative which increases shelf life. When you cook your own food using fresh, non-processed ingredients, your sodium intake will decrease even if you add a bit of table salt to your meals. Learning how to cook isn't easy but once you get good at it you'll save money and improve your overall health.
2. Eat Out Less. Food you eat in restaurants is filled with sodium and other undesirable ingredients (sugar, saturated and trans fat). It might taste good but that's at the expense of your health. Eating out once in a while to celebrate a special occasion or to give yourself a break from cooking isn't a problem. Cheat days can even help increase your chances of success. Eating out only turns into a problem when you rely on that type of food over home cooked food a majority of the time. If you don't have time to cook big meals, sandwiches, rice, pasta and [indoor] grilled chicken can easily and quickly be prepared as healthy meals.
3. Healthier Snacks. Snacks such as chips and salsa are loaded with sodium. Again, there's nothing wrong with indulging yourself every once in a while, but eating high sodium snacks on a daily basis can raise your sodium intake to very high levels. Fruits, vegetables and smoothies are healthy, tasty and sodium free snacks that give you energy and improve your overall health. Low sodium honey roasted peanuts are a good alternative to chips.