by Debra Wyatt
(last updated April 11, 2014)
When we are told to reduce our salt or sodium intake by a doctor it usually takes us by surprise. Such advice is far more common than you might think. The average American adult's intake of sodium is about 3,300 milligrams a day. This may not seem like a lot of salt/sodium but think about it for a moment. The USDA Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for sodium is no more than 2,400 milligrams per day. This works out to be a little more than a teaspoon of salt per day. That little bit extra of salt everyday (on your eggs, your fries, popcorn, etc.) really adds up.
You may be wondering if there are signs that let you know that you are taking in too much salt. If a person is tuned into their body they can see some of the symptoms as they appear. There are two main symptoms of excess sodium—swelling and a decrease in urine output. These signs can also be symptoms of something more complicated, so you should see your family doctor.
The cook of the house is usually the one that controls how much sodium is used a day. While the cook cannot control what a person puts on his or her plate after the food is served, the cook can control how much sodium is put into the dish during preparation. While it may seem hard to do, reducing sodium/salt intake can be as simple as doing these few things:
If you aren't able to cook or you're away from home there are still things that you can do that will help limit your sodium intake.
Just remember that you are in charge of being healthy, and choosing to limit your sodium intake is a great start to a healthier you.
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