If you’ve ever read the labels in the frozen food section of your grocery store, you may already suspect that the consumption of high-sodium foods is a growing epidemic in the United States. But the worst part is that many of us aren’t even aware when we’re exceeding our daily recommended sodium intake. That’s because what we consider a seasoning is often used as a preservative in a variety of foods, seriously increasing their sodium content. Thankfully, being mindful of labels and stocking up on low-sodium foods can easily get you back on track. Here’s what you need to know about going low-sodium.
What Is Low-Sodium?
In order for a food to be classified as “low-sodium” it must have no more than 140 milligrams of sodium per serving. High-sodium foods are defined as having 400 milligrams of sodium or more per serving. If you’re following a low-sodium diet, be sure to check labels carefully to keep your daily sodium intake in check.
Benefits of Eating Low-Sodium
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), more than 90 percent of Americans exceed the recommended daily intake of salt (2,300 milligrams of sodium a day for adults under age 51 and 1,500 milligrams for adults over age 51, per USDA guidelines). While sodium is a necessary electrolyte to help maintain the proper amount of water in and around your cells, too much of it can increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease and stroke. That’s why keeping an eye on your daily salt intake and incorporating low-sodium, high-nutrient foods into your diet can help you maintain your overall wellness.
Tips for Eating Low-Sodium
Cutting down on your daily salt intake is one of the easiest ways to improve your diet without having to eliminate a bunch of foods you love. Here are a few tricks to try:
- Opt for salt-free seasonings like lemon, garlic, ginger, vinegar, and pepper (a little creativity goes a long way).
- Enjoy more home-cooked meals and you’ll cut out some hidden sodium lurking in pre-packaged foods.
- Taste before you season. Keep the salt shaker tucked in your pantry (rather than on the table) so you don’t over-salt meals.
Top Eating Brands
These low-sodium staples don’t skimp on flavor.
This totally organic company got its start in 1988 and now offers an extensive line of wholesome milk products free of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.
This rich, buttery ghee is made using the time-honored Indian method in which the milk solids separate from the butterfat. With zero salt added, it’s a great addition to any low-sodium diet.
Nutiva knows the secret to crafting delicious, superfood-powered products: Keeping manufacturing processes pure and simple and using premium, sustainably sourced ingredients.
Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
No sodium, just healthy fats! This pantry must-have is crafted in Southeast Asia where fresh coconuts are cold-pressed immediately after harvesting and never bleached, refined, or deodorized.
With a legacy of family farming, Lundberg offers a variety of low-sodium, heart-healthy kitchen essentials (like rice, quinoa, chips, and other snacks). Best of all, the certified organic brand ensures every product isn’t just high-quality but also sourced ethically and grown sustainably.
Get a dose of fiber sans sodium with this delightfully nutty short grain rice. The pleasant chewy texture makes it a great addition to salads, protein bowls, and even puddings.
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