I have to admit, this is an ongoing battle for me. Let’s face it, salt makes food taste – well, better at times… OK – for me, most times. I do however understand the need to keep our salt intake to a much lower level than we typically do.
Our body needs some sodium to function, but too much may lead to high blood pressure (a major risk factor for stroke, heart disease and kidney disease). Some sodium is needed in our body to regulate fluids and blood pressure, and to keep muscles and nerves running smoothly. Healthy adults need only 1500 mg of sodium each day.
According to Health Canada, processed foods (including restaurant and fast foods) account for 77% of the sodium we eat. Another 12% is found naturally in foods, 6% we add at the table, and 5% we add during cooking. So 88% of all the sodium in our diet is not present naturally: it is added during food manufacturing or preparation.
One easy way to reduce salt intake is to use fresh or frozen products rather than canned products. We eat a lot of fresh and frozen vegetables, and I make exceptions only occasionally, and mostly for beans (chili) or canned tomatoes for spaghetti sauce. Canned options include lower soldium so check labels when choosing your canned products.