6 Ways to Reduce Salt in Your Diet

A little salt can go a long way in adding flavor to food, but too much can put diabetics into dangerous territory.

Heart health can be directly affected by sodium levels, and high blood pressure increases your risk for stroke, heart attack - even an early death.

While it may be enough to stop salting your food or cutting back on sodium-rich snacks, here are six ways you can reduce salt intake even further:

1. Rinse your canned foods

Beans, vegetables, olives, tuna and even canned fruit are often packed in salty water. Make sure to thoroughly rinse anything that comes from a can before consuming it, and you'll easily cut back on extra sodium.

2. Make most of your meals at home

Preparing your own meals is the best way to know how much salt you're consuming. Fresh, whole ingredients will be the lowest in sodium, while packaged and processed foods may add more salt to your diet than necessary.

3. Ask how food is prepared at restaurants

It's perfectly OK to ask your server how food is prepared before you order it. Request your proteins not be prepared with salt, ask for salad dressing on the side, and skip dishes like soup - which are usually rich in salt - when eating out.

4. Season in place of salting

Salt cravings are often about flavor, so make sure the foods you eat are rich and tantalizing for your taste buds. Instead of using salt to bring out the flavor in foods, opt for fresh herbs, salsa, low-sodium hot sauce, or other types of seasoning blends that aren't high in salt.

5. Read labels

Look for "low-sodium" labels whenever you go grocery shopping, but also make it a habit to check nutritional labels even further. Bread, for example, can contain a high amount of salt in just once slice. Become familiar with what brands or products are lower in sodium than others.

6. Beware of sauces

Salt is abundant in pasta sauces, salad dressings, and cooking sauces. For healthier options, make your own or - at the very least - choose low-sodium options or reduce the amount you consume.

Source: U.S. News Health

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