Salt is found in almost all foods including in fresh fruits and vegetables. It is a necessary mineral in order for the body to function properly. It helps to maintain a healthy heart, strong bones and teeth, and a strong immune system so that the body can fight off common ailments and serious diseases.
Even though all the necessary salt that the body needs can be found in plant-based foods, it is still added to the diet in various different forms. It is produced from underground salt mines as well as from the sea, and is used to help preserve and bring out the flavor in foods.
Due to those practices, most people on the SAD (Standard American Diet) overdose on salt daily, as nearly all the foods that are consumed contain too much salt. Thus it is important that you get to know your foods and find ways to reduce your salt intake so that you do not overdose, as that can have negative effects on the overall health of your body.
Switch To the Raw Food Diet
The best and easiest way to reduce your salt intake is by switching to the raw food diet. Plant-based foods contain all the salt that your body needs, and you don’t have to worry about consuming too much when sticking to them.
Make Your Own Juice
Believe it or not, but many fruit and vegetable juices also contain small amounts of salt, and thus by making your own juices with a juicer, you can reduce your intake.
Avoid Fast and Take-Out Foods
If going on the raw food diet is too extreme for you, then the next best thing that you can do is avoid fast foods and take-out foods. These foods are not only loaded with unhealthy amounts of salt, but they also contain many other harmful ingredients that your body just does not know what to do with.
Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods are just as bad as fast foods, as they can be just as high in salt. These are foods that come in any type of package such as a box, can, bottle or anything that is pre-wrapped.
Read and Understand the Food Labels
Not all processed foods contain the same amount of salt, therefore you should learn to read and understand the labels so that you can at least avoid the foods highest in salt. When the label says:
Salt or sodium -free: it means that it contains 5 mg or less per serving.
Very low Sodium: means that it contains 35 mg or less per serving.
Low sodium: means that it contains 140 mg or less per serving.
Light sodium: means that it contains 50% less than the original food.
Less or reduced sodium: means that it contains 25% less than the original food.
Those labels will only give you a quick read, and you still need to look at the smaller labels to see how much is actually contained in a serving. When reading the labels you may also want to compare different brands, and opt for the brand that contains less salt per serving.
Rinse Canned Foods
Canned fruits and vegetables can be rinsed with clean water to help wash off some of the extra salts. This way you can still enjoy the convenience of prepared foods, but without the extra amounts of salt.
Avoid Chips and Pretzels and Other Snacks High in Salt
Chips, pretzels, popcorn and other snacks contain high amounts of salt that your body just does not need. Find alternative foods such as raw nuts and seeds or fresh fruits and vegetables to snack on when hunger strikes.
Avoid Salted Nuts and Seeds
Let’s face it, salted nuts and seeds are just 10 times better than the unsalted ones. But snacking on the salted can cause you to consume more salt than what you need. Thus limit your intake of those, or avoid them altogether.
Another thing that you can do is buy them raw, and then roast and salt them yourself so that you can control the amount of salt that goes on.
Use Less Salt in Cooking
When cooking your foods, practice using less salt than what the recipe calls for. Chances are your taste buds won’t even know the difference. This is also a great way to help your taste buds adjust to eating foods that are not as high in salt.
Another tip when cooking is to add the salt in at the end of the cooking process, as that will help to preserve the saltiness. Thus you can actually use less, but still enjoy the same great flavor.
Cook From Scratch Using Fresh Herbs and Spices
Learn to cook from scratch using fresh herbs and spices, as they are great for adding additional flavors to the foods, so that the salt and other seasonings can be reduced. Garlic, ginger, chives, nutmeg, basil, oregano, rosemary, dill, cilantro, mint, lemon balm and lemon or lime juice are great ways to naturally add more zing to the meals without using salt.
Use Sea Salt
Sea salt contains more minerals than table salt, and thus it naturally contains less sodium. Thus using sea salt will enable you to use less salt naturally.
Buy a Shaker with Smaller Holes
Have you ever tipped the shaker and a whole load of salt came out; more than what you bargained for? Getting a shaker with smaller holes will help to prevent that from happening, so that you don’t accidentally overdose.
In Restaurants Order Foods with Low Salt
Foods in restaurants are often prepared with high doses of salts. However, you can avoid some of that excess salt by asking the waiter/waitress to prepare your foods with less salt, and in most cases they will be happy to do so.