Written by: Andrea TerBush, Membership Consultant @ O2 Fitness Cary
Trimming sodium out of our diets just may be one of the trickiest things for us to monitor, as sodium is often unnecessarily loaded into many of our every day foods without our knowledge. If you are looking to maintain healthy blood pressure and watch your sodium intake, try a few of these simple tips.
As much as you may want to “shake it like a saltshaker”, skip it when it comes to the dinner table! Try a squirt of lemon or lime juice, a splash of vinegar, or a pinch of salt-free seasoning blend as some healthier (but still tasty!) alternatives.
If you just have to have higher-sodium foods such as lunch meats, hot dogs or pickles, choose smaller portions. Try the reduced-sodium versions of the lunch meats or cut back from three slices to two. Just being aware of these high-sodium foods will really go a long way! Be careful when loading up the condiments as well – using less of the mustard and soy sauce or opting for reduced-sodium versions.
Seasoning packets that come with many packaged mixes for rice, soups and pasta are often loaded up with sodium – using only half of the seasoning packet will reduce your sodium intake and you will still get the flavor! If you buy canned veggies or beans, rinse them under running water before serving.
Having a nice night out at a restaurant is something we all love to do but, it can often be the most dangerous way to take in sodium. When you can’t see how your food is being prepared, you aren’t in control of what goes in to it – which can often be large amounts of seasoning and sodium. Ask the restaurant to hold the salt (they can do that!). Finally, always request sauces and dressings on the side so you can use them in moderation.