Consuming too much salt is a major factor in high blood pressure, which in turn can lead to heart disease. Nearly 90 percent of adults in the U.S. consume more sodium than is recommended, in part due to the fact that salt can hide in foods that don’t taste salty.
The U.S. Dietary Guidelines have recently cut the daily recommended intake of sodium from 2,300 milligrams to 1,500 milligrams per day. The best way to cut down on salt is to eat fewer processed and restaurant foods. It’s also important to get used to the idea that salt is in foods like cake, soda, bread, and cereal. A 30 grams slice of angel food cake can have 243 milligrams of salt, a 12 ounce can of diet soda has 70 milligrams of sodium and a tuna fish sandwich made with whole grain bread can have as much as 462 milligrams of sodium.
When you do buy processed foods, look for products with less than 300 milligrams of sodium per serving. Also be careful to compare the nutrition labels: sodium levels can vary widely from brand to brand for similar items. There’s nothing wrong with cutting back slowly, your taste buds will adjust overtime. Also, experiment with other spices that will reduce the need for salt. Flavors like cinnamon, turmeric, fresh basil, chile peppers, wine, vinegar, citrus, and garlic can all enrich a meal without upping the sodium.