The USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting daily sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams for healthy individual or 1,500 milligrams for individuals over age 40, and people with diabetes, kidney disease or high blood pressure (hypertension). 80 percent of the sodium consumed by Americans comes from packaged and restaurant foods, making it a challenge to stay below recommended limits. Use these simply shopping, cooking and eating strategies to reduce the sodium in your diet and protect your heart.
Balance sodium-containing foods in your diet with plenty of produce. Fresh fruits and vegetables such as bananas, citrus, spinach, potatoes and tomatoes also supply potassium and may naturally regulate blood pressure. Organicgirl® Salads make adding fresh and delicious foods into your heart-healthy diet a breeze. All varieties including Supergreens!, Baby Spinach, Baby Spring Mix, 50/50 Blend and Herb Baby Romaine feature premium triple-washed greens that are ready to use fresh from the produce case. Toss these tender greens with healthful toppings like nuts, dried fruit, beans, lentils, tuna and veggies or use them to stuff pitas, wraps or sandwiches.
Snack with Less Salt
Classic snack foods like chips, pretzels, crackers and popcorn are one of the biggest sources of sodium in our diet. Curb snack attacks with fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat yogurt or lightly salted or unsalted versions of your favorite snacks. Lay’s® Lightly Salted Potato Chips please your crunchy snack cravings with 50 percent less sodium than regular chips. Remember portion control when enjoying this sensible snack choice to keep your calories in check.
Packaged rice and pasta dishes that include a seasoning packet often contain loads of salt per serving. Prepare side dishes from scratch to control the amount of added salt to fit within your dietary goals. Start with plain whole-wheat pasta, couscous or quinoa, and then dress it up with flavorful oils, fresh herbs, unique spices and a pinch of salt to taste. As a blend of durum whole wheat and semolina flours, flavorful Ronzoni® Healthy Harvest™ Pasta cooks up lighter than whole wheat brands and provides a good source of whole grains and three times the fiber of white pasta. Try Spaghetti, Penne Rigate, Rotini pasta cuts and more!
Be a Label Reader
While canned and frozen heat-and-eat foods are typically heavy on sodium, there are heart-healthier options that can be found. Look for options that include the words “No Added Salt,” “Reduced Sodium,” or “Low Salt” with less than 400 milligrams of sodium per serving to guide your choices. Hearty Campbell’s® Healthy Request™ Chunky Soups offer the convenience of a quick and easy meal with far less sodium per serving than other canned soups. They also bear the American Heart Association Seal as a food that’s low in saturated fat and cholesterol
Experiment with cooking techniques like pan-searing, roasting and grilling that caramelize the surface of foods, giving them a smoky taste while lessening the need for salt. Or get creative with salt-free herbs, spices and seasoning blends like Mrs. Dash®. Made with savory all-natural herbs and spices, these versatile salt-free medleys can be used to make both classic and exotic burst with flavor. Try their Original Blend in this recipe for Pistachio- Crusted Chicken.
Be on the lookout for hidden sources of sodium such as bread, cheese and cottage cheese, and even sports drinks. Instead, select minimally processed, nutrient-dense foods and beverages. Welch’s® 100% Juice delivers the goodness of purple grapes in every glass without added colors, flavors sugar or preservatives. It’s made from the entire grape including the skins, seeds and pulp, and is loaded with powerful antioxidants that may protect arteries from damaging LDL “bad” cholesterol. Sip just four-ounces for a full serving of fruit, plus an excellent source of vitamin C.
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