Did you know that packet of chips you tuck into midafternoon contains 180 mg of sodium per serving? And that burger you pick up on your way home from the bar has a whopping 460 mg of sodium, which is 19% of the recommended daily intake? And a stick of your child’s favorite string cheese contains as much as 230 mg of salt?
It’s true that we all need a small amount (180 mg - 500 mg per day) of sodium to keep our bodies working properly. But, too often we over-consume salt unknowingly, whether it’s from processed and fast food; at your favorite restaurants; in our home-cooked meals; or from the local street food stands you’re getting at 2:00am! This could lead to serious problems, according to nutrition professionals. Too much salt increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. Hence the recent rise of Low Sodium Diets to improve your health and quality of life. Cutting back can be hard because salt gives food the extra flavor kick. But an effortless way to compensate for this is opting for herbs and spices instead, which keep the flavor and supply key nutrients.
So how much salt should we consume per day?
Ideally, we should decrease the total amount of sodium we consume to 2,000 mg (2 g) per day. Foods that are considered “Low Sodium” contain 140 mg or less per serving. No Sodium foods should contain less than 5 mg per serving. If you are buying packaged and processed foods, make sure you learn to read food labels. Use the label information on food packages to help you make the best low-sodium selections.
Just because you are going to restrict your salt intake, doesn’t mean you should drench your food with sauces instead!
Here are some high sodium seasonings and condiments that we should limit or avoid
Alfredo sauce, soup, and other packaged sauce mixes.
Barbecue, taco, and steak sauce.
Dry salad dressing mixes.
Garlic, onion, and celery salt.
Imitation bacon bits.
Meat tenderizers and sauces.
Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
Mustard, prepared horseradish sauce, and ketchup.
Salt, seasoned salt, kosher salt, and sea salt.
Soy, Worcestershire, and teriyaki sauces. Limit low sodium varieties because they still contain high amounts of sodium.
Tartar, fish, and cocktail sauce.
DON’T WORRY! You can still enjoy flavorful meals using other alternatives, such as adding lemon or lime juice to meat, seafood or veg; mixing vinegar with a little olive oil to make a healthy salad vinaigrette; or using herbs and spices to make your own seasoning blends. Lucky for you, Fields has recently stocked up on our Fresh Herbs and Spices range. To help you get started, check out the table below for tasty food and seasoning pairing ideas: