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How to Lower Your Salt Intake Without Feeling Deprived

How to Lower Your Salt Intake Without Feeling Deprived

Sometimes the foods we love aren’t exactly healthy for us. This is especially true if you’re someone who enjoys salty foods. Your health can be negatively impacted by a high-sodium diet over time, but there are ways to make changes.

High sodium levels increase your risk of high blood pressure. High blood pressure is sometimes referred to as the silent killer for a good reason — because most people are unaware that they suffer from the condition, which can lead to disability or even death. 

An annual wellness exam with board-certified family physician Lawrence Scott Wilner, DO, and the team at Summit Primary Care can check your risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other health conditions.

There are both short-term and long-term solutions available, but the end goal is to reduce the amount of sodium you consume to put you in a much better place with your health. 

Here are some tips that can help you lessen your sodium intake without sacrificing flavor.

Track your sodium consumption

Reducing sodium consumption requires understanding how much salt you ingest each day and which foods are high in sodium. Start a food diary, and track your daily food intake for at least a week, including both weekend days. Keep a record of what foods you eat and their sodium content.

Then, once you have an idea of your sodium intake, you can begin to implement the necessary changes to achieve your goal. 

Reduce intake of foods high in sodium

Review your list, and substitute lower sodium options for any of the foods on your list that are high in sodium, like soup or prepackaged convenience foods, with something else you enjoy that has lower sodium content.

Some of the more notable sources high in sodium include:

Use your diary to understand which foods you eat that are high in sodium, and opt for a low-salt or no-salt alternative.

Homemade meals and non-salt seasonings

Research has shown that more than 70% of the sodium Americans consume comes from restaurants or prepackaged meals. When choosing to consume these types of meals, it’s almost impossible to control the sodium content. For this reason, prepare more of your meals at home to gain better control over how much sodium your meals contain. 

Reducing sodium doesn’t have to mean reducing flavor, either. Many dry seasonings available add a great deal of flavor without salt. Experiment with several until you find your favorites.

Cut the salt in half

If you’re already eating home-cooked meals, consider reducing the salt you use in your recipes. Try cutting the amount of salt in your recipes in half for a short amount of time. Once your body adjusts to this reduction, try cutting it in half again, leaving you with only one-quarter of the amount of salt you’re used to initially consuming.

By making small reductions, your body gradually adjusts to your food having a less salty flavor. If you try to cut salt out completely, all at once, your food might seem tasteless and bland, which can set you up for failure.

Achieving a healthy blood pressure range is essential to a long, healthy life. Lowering your sodium intake can go a long way toward reducing and keeping your blood pressure within a healthy range. Call our Denver, Colorado Springs, or Pueblo, Colorado, office, or schedule an appointment online today to learn more about reducing your salt intake and keeping an eye on your blood pressure.

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