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Smarter Health: Salt is NOT your friend

Posted by on May. 2, 2013 at 12:00 AM
  • 58 Replies
1 mom liked this

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?

Š Konuk

by on May. 2, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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by on May. 2, 2013 at 12:14 AM

I avoid using salt as much as possible.  I do not like very salty foods.  In the kitchen, I pretty much only use it when baking.  When I shop, I check labels for sodium content and try to opt for lower sodium items.  I also make things from scratch as much as I can so I can control the salt level to a degree.

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by on May. 2, 2013 at 12:39 AM
1 mom liked this

I try,
Don't salt any foods :)

by on May. 2, 2013 at 1:18 AM

I do watch my sodium intake and rarely add salt to foods. When I do add salt, I use sea salt, because the sodium content is lower while the flavor is stronger, which means I need to use less salt to get the same taste. I also have a Fitbit to help me track my sodium intake throughout the day so I will know when I've reached my limit.

by on May. 2, 2013 at 1:43 AM
I don't need a lot of salt I usually forget to use it lol, my dh on the other hand... Won't eat it if it's unsalted :(
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by on May. 2, 2013 at 4:35 AM

People eat sodium in their foods without even realizing it. My mum is on a 1,500 mg sodium a day diet. Now if you go out to eat you will usually go over this amount in just your entree. If you ask for a sodium level and it is over 2,000 mg that means your dinner was frozen when you showed up at the restaurant and they microwaved it. Yeah that is pretty gross.

We had to lower her salt when she moved in with us which was a huge change for her but not us since we are both chefs. There is no canned or processed food because that is the big culprits of high salt. We also use unsalted butter and no salt chicken and beef stock. Adding the salt in ourself keeps the levels low enough and the food is still perfect.

Yes we add salt to all our meals to bring out the flavor but we do over salt the food as most processed foods need to be to preserve it. I read nutritional labels constantly. She can not have most cookies, breads, or canned soups. We have hunted for low sodium options in all these. I make most from scratch still. I buy the bread because I can't find a way to make the bread with as little salt as one brand has.

Oh and the one thing that was weird to me was her favorite drink - ginger ale. They put salt in it ! I found that Polar does not though. It tastes the same. That is just ridiculous to me.

We keep our salt lower than most people need to. But still many people need to lower their salt intake. And yes there are a few restaurants that have a low enough salt level for her to eat at. It has to be fresh food is all.

by on May. 2, 2013 at 6:43 AM

Tell this my husand.. he has to a ridicolous amount of salt on anything and everything..

by on May. 2, 2013 at 7:10 AM

We watch our salt in take. At least when I am cooking. 

by on May. 2, 2013 at 7:28 AM

I dont use much of it. I dont like to use it unless I have to. Even when I cook noodles I never add salt

by on May. 2, 2013 at 9:00 AM

I do not eat a lot of added salt, but there is salt everywhere. Luckily I never add salt to cooked food, because a lot of the "salt substitutes" caontain potassium, and I have kidney problems. Potassium is a no-no.

by on May. 2, 2013 at 9:06 AM

We don't use much salt...if we do we use sea salt which is better.

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