Follow This Crucial Tip For Increasing Your Heart Health
Reducing sodium intake is one of the most crucial tips for improving heart health. Most Americans consume far above the recommended daily amount of sodium. Salt can sneakily hide in processed, prepackaged, or frozen foods. Experts recommend, at most, 2,300mg of sodium per day, ideally limiting sodium to only 1,500mg. Taking control of sodium intake may require some extra planning. Consider these 4 tips for cutting back.
1. Read food labels
Reading food labels is crucial for improving nutrition and heart health. When looking at the packaging, scan for the words sodium or soda. The symbol Na also indicates that the food contains a sodium compound. Reading food labels is essential because most Americans get 75% of daily sodium through processed foods such as ketchup, soup, or canned foods.
2. Opt for lower-sodium alternatives
When buying items like chicken broth, canned vegetables, or nuts, look for products labeled as low sodium. Specifically, try to find nuts, lentils, and dried beans that are unsalted. Nuts, in particular, can be a sneaky source of extra salt, especially because many people consume more than the recommended serving size in one sitting.
3. Choose fresh or frozen
As already mentioned, canned and processed foods are a huge source of extra salt. When buying fruits and vegetables, be mindful to choose fresh or frozen as much as possible. In the frozen food aisle, watch out for sodium in sauces and marinades and try to buy options that have no added salt or sugar.
4. Spice it up with your seasonings
Many people rely on table salt to add flavor while cooking. Learn to mix up a meal with new spices and herbs. Chives, dill, curry powder, garlic, rosemary, and thyme are all flavorful options that can help to spice up a dish. Additionally, remove table salt from the dinner table. Rely on alternatives like fresh herbs or a squeeze of lemon juice to garnish vegetables.
How does sodium affect your heart health?
Everyone needs some sodium. But getting too much can make people retain fluids, which increases blood pressure. Chronically high blood pressure is a significant risk factor for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. In addition to reducing sodium intake, people should also participate in aerobic activity for at least 30 minutes at a time most days of the week. Making these lifestyle tweaks are two of the best ways to increase heart health naturally. For more information about a heart-healthy diet and lifestyle, speak with a healthcare provider.