It's funny when you are out at a restaurant these days...what is on the table? I remember growing up, out to eat and seeing - at least 99.3% of the time - the salt and pepper shakers. Nowadays, that little duo has been moved to back into the kitchen. Not all of the time, I do still see them, but not everywhere as before.
Personally I think that is a good thing. Why? Because, folks, sodium is not our friend. I know I feel it after I eat something with a high amount of salt or have a day or two in a row of salty food intake. I'm bloated, I am thirsty...just imagine what my organs are feeling.
Sure, there are studies out that say too much sodium isn't all that bad for us, but so many others do point to the risks of eating too much salt. Takes this fact alone: if we all ate the normal amount of salt as put forth in nutrition guidelines, which is about 1,500 milligrams, we as a group would save $26 billion in healthcare costs in about a year due to decreased high blood pressure-related health woes. Or this fact: 97% of teens and children consume more than the required amount of sodium every day....which increases their chances of heart disease when they grow up.
Not good, folks. Not good at all. The hard thing is sodium is everywhere and often hidden. Many, many processed foods contain really high amount of salt. Other culprits: milk, meat, sauces, dressings and condiments, like soy sauce and ketchup.
So, aside from banishing the saltshaker, what can we all do to lower our sodium intake? Eat fresh foods as much as possible, like fruits and veggies. Use other spices and herbs and fruit juices, like lemon and lime juice, in recipes to jazz them up instead of salt. And finally, read those labels if you are buying anything in a box or a can or a bag. Opt for the low-sodium version and try to avoid those with the code words for hidden sodium baddies:
-- Baking soda
-- Baking powder
-- Sodium nitrate
-- Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
-- Disodium phosphate
Do you watch your salt intake? Do you know how much sodium you eat a day? Are you a salt-a-holic?