In recent weeks, our Wellness column has discussed the “facts & figures” that help us determine what constitutes a good blood pressure rate and a healthy heart. If you’re looking to improve your health in these areas, sometimes the little things make a really big difference. Take salt. Literally, but also very sparingly. This can be especially true for folks who are looking to address their high blood pressure. There are plenty of ways to reduce intake of those small grains of salt, in order to improve kidney function and circulatory health. Here are some helpful tips.
Cut back on the “Salty Six.” The American Heart Association identifies these 6 popular foods as major contributors to salty diets — bread products, cold cuts, poultry products, canned soups, sandwiches and pizza.
Store your salt supply. Remove salt shakers from your dining tables and actually taste your food before impulsively grabbing for salt. For many people, salting food is more of a habit than a flavor enhancement.
Check the labels. As the American Heart Association notes, most of the sodium in our diets comes from ingesting packaged, processed foods. Nutrition tables will provide clear evidence of the products you eat that contain plenty of sodium. Reduce your reliance on these items. Typical packaged food major offenders include cereals, pastas and flavored rice.
Snack smart. Get in the habit of munching on veggies and unsalted peanuts or popcorn, instead of sugar-laden snack foods (which also often also contain salt). If you use canned goods, begin your prep process by rinsing off your veggies or fruits. That’s another way reduce your sodium intake.