In an effort to lose weight, millions of Americans will be trying to cut excess salt out of their diets.
The problem is you may never see it.
Nearly 80% of the salt in your diet comes from hidden sources and may affect you in ways you might not know.
We’ve got tips on where to find that hidden salt.
Salt can sneak into meals from foods like bread, soda, chicken breast, salad dressing and soup.
Researchers have linked high salt intake to fluid accumulation and high blood pressure, prompting the American Heart Association to update their dietary guidelines.
People with high blood pressure or at risk for hypertension should eat less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day, equal to approximately a half-teaspoon.
The Wexner Medical Center is leading by example, where salt is removed from cafe tables.
If all Americans consumed only the recommended dose of sodium daily, 150,000 lives would be saved from heart disease, according to the American Medical Association.
Watch the condiments.
Ketchup and salad dressing can be very high in sodium, so look for the low-salt versions and watch how much you add onto your meal.
Just one tablespoon of soy sauce contains nearly 1,000 milligrams of sodium.
Use spices and herbs.
A squirt of lemon, lime or vinegar can also dress up food.
People often add salt to guacamole, but just lime gives it the flavor it needs.
Less is more.
Sea salt is still salt.
It isn’t healthier for you, but since it has more taste, it can be used sparingly for a similar flavor.
However, if you are using just as much sea salt as regular salt, it is equally as unhealthy.
Wash canned or frozen vegetables.
It is cheaper to buy canned vegetables or frozen vegetables, but they can have added salt to preserve the food.
Get smarter about labels.
Look beyond the word “sodium” on food labels. Words like “soda,” sodium bicarbonate or baking soda, and “MSG,” monosodium glutamate, mean sodium is present.
Also watch portion sizes.
Salt already naturally occurs in our food, accounting for about 12 percent of the sodium we consume.
Avoid takeout and processed food, and stick to fruits and vegetables to help significantly reduce the remaining salt intake.
iStock / DrGrounds
Petr Kratochvil/Wikimedia Commons
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