Usually Monday is a Meatless Monday, thinking of a healthier way to eat. But this Monday, I wanted to try something a bit different.
We consume way too much sodium — salt — in our diets. Even as the standard has been lowered to 1,500 mg (2/3 teaspoon) of sodium from the traditional 2,300 mg, we still consume a few times more than the limit per day.
Some of this salt is actively placed on foods, as is noted in the video up above from the American Osteopathic Association. But as the doctor notes in the video, only 20% of the salt we consume comes from inside the home.
Cooking for yourself, using herbs and spices that aren't salt based, is a great way to reduce salt intake in the home. Be careful when you buy spices, even if salt isn't in the name, often spices will have salt in them. I have bought lemon pepper where the first ingredient is salt.
Allowing yourself to adjust to a reduced salt intake is valuable — if you consume a lot of salt, it took you time to reach that point. So you need time to get used to using less salt.
Not automatically using the salt shaker helps as well. Instinct might make you grab for the salt shaker, but if you get used to a reduced salt intake, you will do something better for your health without that much sacrifice.
Outside the home is where we find 80% of the problem areas. It would be nice if every single chain and mom-and-pop restaurant that served French fries wouldn't salt them — or oversalt them. It would be great if chain family restaurants didn't make it their goal to put so much salt in the foods.
Navigating the landscape is not easy, but figure if you reduce the amount you get at home, you will get less overall, even if the restaurants more than make up for the "lost" salt. And since we need salt, you'll get some that way.
The doctor in the video has some pretty good advice, though the video is a little cheesy with the hotel room backdrop and the lame music. But if you listen to the words, there are some nuggets of helpful ways to reduce your salt intake.