Salt’s Effects on the Body
• Salt works on your kidneys to make your body hold on to more water.
• This extra stored water raises your blood pressure and puts strain on your kidneys, arteries, heart and brain.
How to Eat Less Salt
• One of the quickest ways to lower your blood pressure (especially if you have high blood pressure) is to eat less salt.
• According to the American Heart Association: The average daily sodium intake for Americans aged 2 years and older is over 3,400 mg of sodium - more than double the 1,500 mg limit recommended by national dietary guidelines for most American adults.
• Most of the salt eaten every day is hidden and never seen.
• 'Roughly 80% of the salt we eat is hiding in processed foods like bread, biscuits and breakfast cereals, and prepared ready meals or takeaways. Only 20% comes from the salt we add while cooking or at the table.' - Blood Pressure UK
• Don’t be too concerned about the exact amount of salt you eat. The goal is to reduce the amount of salt and not to keep an exact score - the less you eat the better.
• Choose packaged and prepared foods carefully. Compare labels and choose the product with the lowest amount of sodium (per serving) you can find in your store.
• Pick fresh and frozen poultry that hasn`t been injected with a sodium solution. Check the fine print on the packaging for terms like 'broth,' 'saline' or 'sodium solution.' Sodium levels in unseasoned fresh meats are around 100 milligrams (mg) or less per 4-ounce serving.
• Choose condiments carefully. Look for a reduced or lower-sodium version. Choose canned vegetables labeled 'no salt added' and frozen vegetables without salty sauces.