Jennifer Lary, Russell, Markaye H.
By: Markaye Russell
LSU AgCenter, Area Nutrition Agent
What should you know about sodium and how can it hurt your health? You might be getting more sodium than you need, and you never picked up the saltshaker. According to the American Heart Association, more than 70 percent of the sodium we eat comes from packaged and restaurant foods. That can make it hard for us to control our sodium intake because it is added to our food before we buy it. Too much sodium is bad for your health, but what can you do to cut back?
When eating out, make sure you tell them to omit the extra salt. Always taste your food before adding salt. If you think it needs a boost of flavor, add freshly ground black pepper or squeeze fresh lemon or lime instead. When ordering, foods that are listed as pickled, barbecued, cured, smoked, broth, soy sauce, or teriyaki sauce tend to be higher in sodium. Foods that are steamed, baked, grilled, poached, or roasted are normally lower in sodium. If you are hungry for more information about eating less salt, check out cookbooks and recipes from the American Heart Association. You will learn how to monitor the sodium you eat, reduce the high-sodium products in your kitchen, understand food labels, know which foods are salt traps, and learn to keep sodium in check while eating out, and plan lower-sodium weekly menus without losing the great taste.
This article is written by Markaye Russell, Area Nutrition Agent, Ouachita, and Union Parishes. This article is referenced by LSU AgCenter and the American Heart Association.