11 Tips for Reducing Your Sodium Intake
Salt. Cheap, plentiful, and pretty much makes everything taste good. Or have we just become accustomed to the flavor of more salt?
Recommended Daily Salt or Sodium Intake
1500-2400 milligrams or almost one teaspoon or less
In a way that we can all relate to – One teaspoon of salt contains 2300 milligrams of sodium. One teaspoon a day… Which is at the high end of the recommended allotment. Seven out of 10 American consume 2.3 times the recommended amount. And the average American doesn’t fare much better… consuming 1.5 teaspoons at day. It might not seem like much… but the risk associated with high sodium intake to important to overlook!
Health Risks Associated with High Sodium Intake Include:
- Heart Disease
- Abnormal Heart Development
- Kidney Disorders
- Dehydration and Swelling
Tips to Reduce our Salt Intake
- Reduce your intake of processed foods; 75% of the sodium we consume comes from processed foods. So reducing the processed foods we consume is a great start. Buy fresh fruits, vegetables, meats or fish – to avoid salt added during processing. When buying frozen foods – use care as salt may be added.
- When cooking, don’t add salt at the beginning – wait until right before you are ready to serve to add the season. Adding it early on the salt will disperse through the layers of the food vs at the end it will be right on the surface where your taste buds will immediately pick up the flavor.
- Watch out out for your Dressings & Condiments! A 1.5 oz serving of Newman’s Own Low Fat Italian Dressing contains almost a third of the maximum daily amount we should be consuming at 730 calories! A 2 oz serving of Ranch dressing weighs in at 530 mg.
- When it’s an option; buy low- or reduced-sodium, or no-salt-added versions of your favorite foods.
- Rinse canned foods to wash away some of the sodium added to canned food (like beans & canned fish) during processing.
- Keep an eye open for hidden sodium in foods like; baking soda, baking powder, and MSG.
- When cooking use low sodium broths, bouillion or soup.
- Don’t add salt to the water when cooking pasta, rice and cereals.
- On food labels look out for sodium in ingredients such as disodium phosphate, sodium alginate, sodium benzoate, and so on.
- When snacking choose nuts & seeds that are unsalted (and raw – for an unrelated reason!). And of course limit salty potato chips & pretzels.
- Use herbs, spices, and salt-free seasoning blends in cooking and at the table.
I know preparing this post has reminded me of a few areas that I can improve on to reduce my families sodium intake! I hope it does the same for you!
Love letter to the FDA – This blog post was written as part of the Mrs. Dash and TwitterMoms blogging program. I was compensated for the time I took to research, test and create recipes, and to write the posts. My opinions are my own and aren’t for sale.
What steps do you take to Reduce Sodium Intake in Your Diet?
Is You Mailbox Full Of Junk Mail?
We all get so much junk mail! It’s such a waste – ending up right directly in the recycling in our home.
How Many Trees Does It take to Produce Junk Mail
Did you know It takes 53 million trees to make the 19 billion catalogs that are sent every year?
Don’t despair – with a few simple steps stem the flow of junk mail to your mailbox and get OFF the dreaded mailing lists that are causing the flow.
It will take about 15 minutes to fill out a few online forms. These simple steps will reduce the paper invasion to your home and help stop junk mail!
When filling out the forms – Don’t forget to remove both yourself and your spouse or significant other.
Direct Marketing Association
The Direct Marketing Association will put your name on a “do not mail” list, which all its members must cross-reference before sending you a solicitation. This site represents marketers, so they will get you to jump through a hoop or two. In addition for companies that you have done business with, you will need to contact them directly.
If you are worried about missing special offers, you can always open an email account just for “junk mail”.
Another tip for special offers - google a vendor before completing a purchase – often you’ll find all there current special offers.
Consumer Credit Reporting Industry
The Consumer Credit Reporting Industry will remove your name from the mailing lists that credit card companies use to send out offers. You will have to provide your SS information, so I went to a few sites that I trusted before I was comfortable proceeding – you can’t be too careful.
If you aren’t using them – why receive them. They are bulking take up space and use a lot of paper.
This organization will contact all phone book companies in your area and remove you from their lists!
Or the number for individual companies using the following information:
Yellow book has made it easy – go to http://corporate.yellowbook.com/products/print-directory-options-opt-out/
When calling to cancel your phone book be sure to tell them they don’t need to call you annually to confirm you still don’t want the phone book! They actually said if they call and don’t reach you, they will resume regular delivery! But after a short conversation the representative was able to set it up so that we receive no phone calls and no phone books. Beautiful!
Online Bill Pay
You can also set up many of your bills to be paperless and to pay them online – if you’re worried about missing an important bill you can always set up an email account to be used exclusively for bills.
If there is a “Stop Junk Mail” resource we have missed, please let us know!
BPA Effects: Why We Need to Take Extra Care with Our Babies
The developing fetus and baby are the most vulnerable to BPA and their toxic effects. Sadly, babies are often exposed to more BPA than any age group, studies have even shown they are highly vulnerable during pregnancy.
“Prenatal exposure, even in very low doses, can cause irreversible damage in an unborn baby’s reproductive organs.” According to Marc Goldstein, M.D, director of the Cornell Institute for Reproductive Medicine. He also states “Fertility rates have been declining for quite some time now, and exposure to synthetic estrogen—especially from the chemicals found in plastic products—can have an adverse effect.”
Although completely eliminating exposure to BPA may not be possible, there is good reason to take every step you can to reduce your babies exposure. The FDA estimates that babies have 12.5 times more BPA exposure than adults, and EWG is concerned that FDA underestimates exposures for many babies.
BPA Effects: Where Are Babies Exposed and How to Reduce Exposure?
- Many parents have replaced their polycarbonate baby bottles, but they may be unaware that BPA contaminates liquid baby formula sold in metal cans. For babies not being breastfed formula may make up 100% of a baby’s diet over her first 6 months of life, choose your baby formula carfully in order to minimize potential exposure to BPA’s.
- Glass and Stainless steel are the safest and most durable option. Some metal water bottles are lined with an epoxy-based enamel coating and could leach BPA, as we’ve seen this with the Sigg scandal. Be extra vigilant.
- If you are a nursing mom be aware of potential exposure in your pumping system, be sure the storage you are using is BPA-free.
- Never microwave baby food or drinks in any plastic containers, heating increases BPA leaching.
- Canned foods are one of the biggest sources of BPA exposure – with so much of the exposure on this topic focusing on plastic containers this fact can get overlooked. BPA’s is used in the epoxy liner of most canned foods, be sure to limit the use of canned goods as much a possible. EWG tested 97 canned foods and found detectable levels of BPA in more than half of the foods. Canned meats, pasta & soups fared the worst in testing. Pregnant women and children should limit their consumption of canned foods to avoid BPA.
More About Plastic:
- With BPA in the headline now for some time, most manufacturers now make BPA-free baby plastic bottles. If you are using plastic, be sure the bottles you are using are BPA free.
- Polycarbonate plastics are rigid, transparent and used for food storage containers and water bottles, among other things. Trace amounts of BPA can migrate from these containers, particularly if used for hot food or liquids.
- Avoid polycarbonate for babies food and drinks. This plastic might be marked with the recycling code #7 or the letters “PC”.
- Wash plastics on the top shelf of your dishwasher or by hand. Avoid using old and scratched plastic bottles.
If you must use plastic:
- Plastics with the recycling labels #1, #2 and #4 on the bottom are better choices because they do not contain BPA
- Soft or cloudy-colored plastic does not contain BPA.
A note about sourcing: A good deal of the information in this piece came from the EWG, I went back and just couldn’t find the exact pages. My sincere apologies for not having direct links and let me know if you stumble on it – I’d love to add it/them.