How to Reduce Your Salt Intake

Limiting your daily salt intake can help prevent major diseases. Here's how to cut back.

You will need

  • Low- or no-sodium packaged food
  • Herbs
  • Vinegar
  • Lemons

Step 1 Read labels Read labels when you shop. If salt or sodium chloride is one of the first ingredients listed on the label, don’t buy the product.

Step 2 Eliminate high-sodium foods Avoid high-sodium foods such as chips, salted nuts, and dressings. If you must eat them, try the low-sodium versions.

Step 3 Avoid processed foods Buy fresh or plain frozen vegetables. Most processed foods have salt added for taste and as a preservative. When buying canned vegetables, look for ones labeled “no salt added.”

Step 4 Rinse canned foods Rinse any canned foods that do contain sodium under running water to get rid of excess salt.

Step 5 Reduce salt when cooking Flavor foods with herbs, vinegar, and lemons instead of bouillon cubes and sauces, which are high in sodium.

Step 6 Don’t add salt Don’t put additional salt on your food. Remove the salt shaker from the dinner table.

Step 7 Eat at accommodating restaurants Go to restaurants that will prepare your food with low- or no-salt.

Step 8 Avoid fast food Don’t eat fast food. Fast food is notoriously high in salt.

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