Reduce the sodium in your food to keep your heart healthy
Eating a lot of sodium can contribute to high blood pressure, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Reducing sodium is an important part of a heart-healthy diet. The Department of Agriculture recommends:
â€¢ Healthy adults have no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day (about a teaspoon)
â€¢ People age 51 or older, African-Americans, and people who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease have no more than 1,500 mg of sodium a day
Although reducing the amount of salt you add to food at the table or while cooking is a good first step, much of the salt you eat comes from canned or processed foods, such as soups and frozen dinners. Eating fresh foods and making your own soups and stews can reduce the amount of salt you eat. If you like the convenience of canned soups and prepared meals, look for ones with reduced sodium. Be wary of foods that claim to be lower in sodium because they are seasoned with sea salt instead of regular table salt â€” sea salt has the same nutritional value as regular salt.
Another way to reduce the amount of salt you eat is to choose your condiments carefully. Many condiments are available in reduced-sodium versions, and salt substitutes can add flavor to your food with less sodium.
Low-salt items to choose
â€¢ Herbs and spices
â€¢ Salt substitutes
â€¢ Reduced-salt canned soups or prepared meals
â€¢ Reduced-salt versions of condiments, such as reduced-salt soy sauce and reduced-salt ketchup
High-salt items to avoid
â€¢ Table salt
â€¢ Canned soups and prepared foods, such as frozen dinners
â€¢ Tomato juice
â€¢ Soy sauce