While somewhat arguable, current guidelines recommend limiting sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams or less per day. Initial research into the many causes of heart disease cited increased sodium intake to be the major culprit behind such a heightened risk. However, more recent studies have demonstrated the opposite.
Current research suggests that higher sodium intake is not linked to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, and either results in a lower average blood pressure or has no negative effect. Furthermore, a study in the Journal of American Medical Association found no correlation between a low sodium intake and reduced risk for heart attacks, which further debunks the negative association between sodium intake and heart disease.
Healthy kidneys are perfectly able to handle sodium. But because obesity levels are so high, increasing the risk for numerous health complications, many individuals are watching how much salt (which contains 2,300 milligrams of sodium per teaspoon) they consume. If you’re trying to cut back on sodium intake, you’ll be happy to know that roughly 65 percent of our overall sodium intake comes from the foods we toss into our grocery carts at the supermarket.
With such a vast majority of our intake coming from easily controllable foods, his makes for a simple change. Here’s how to diffuse a few unknown salt mines to reduce your sodium intake.
Salt Lick 1 Cottage Cheese
Bodybuilders have long been faithful to cottage cheese, owing to its abundance of muscle-building protein, which contains up to 15 grams in a half-cup serving! But whether you blend the curds into post-training shakes or scoop them up by the bowlful, that great white can hike up your sodium intake.
That same half-cup serving can deliver up to 400 milligrams of sodium. Consider searching for a low-salt option, such as Friendship Dairies, or even one that has no added salt.
LOWER-SODIUM ALTERNATIVE GREEK YOGURT
With twice the protein levels of traditional yogurt, velvety Greek yogurt rarely has more than 95 milligrams of sodium per cup.
Salt Lick 2 Bread
Who would have thought the “staff of life” could be such a major player in our daily sodium intake? Many commercial breads supply a surprisingly high amount of sodium—100-300 milligrams per slice. Your lunch sandwich could easily provide you with a quarter of the daily recommended amount—and that’s not even counting the sodium-rich lunch meat!
One reason manufacturers make their bread so salty is that it works as a preservative to help extend shelf life. Because the salt is baked into the bread, your morning toast won’t taste salty the same way potato chips do where the salt is on the surface. And don’t assume that whole-wheat versions are any less damaging!
LOWER-SODIUM ALTERNATIVE ARTISANAL BREAD
Local bakers making their loaves in small batches are much less likely to produce a product with so much sodium.
Salt Lick 3 Fresh Chicken
A reliable source of lean protein, chicken is a dietary staple among the fitness crowd. But the dirty little secret of the shrink-wrapped meat is that much of it has been injected with a saltwater solution during processing. The poultry industry does this to help increase flavor and keep the meat juicy. While unadulterated chicken has only about 60 milligrams of sodium in a 3-ounce serving, the “enhanced” bird can have upwards of 300 milligrams!
To add insult to injury, the salty solution squirted into the meat adds to the weight of the meat, so you’re paying extra for this! Read the fine print for sodium levels on poultry products if you want a cleaner product. Chicken labeled “organic” is less likely to be pumped full of salt.
LOWER-SODIUM ALTERNATIVE WILD SALMON
With only 40 milligrams of naturally occurring sodium in a 3-ounce serving, this swimmer contains a boatload of protein and overachieving omega-3 fats.