Are You Consuming Too Much Salt?

Written by: Ofek Laks, Public Health Intern at Lake Country Medical Concierge

Have a savory tooth? Next time while sitting on the couch watching television or having a party with friends, think closely about that potato chip you are about to grab. Processed foods have been known to have high levels of sodium which can ultimately impact your heart health. Sodium which is commonly called “salt,” is in most food and processed grocery items. It is important to monitor how much salt you are consuming everyday.


The Daily Intake of Salt

Sodium or otherwise known as “salt” is something that should be a part of the everyday diet in order for the body to function properly, but it is crucial to monitor your intake so there are no consequences on your health. The recommended amount of salt intake by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is “2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium”(Corliss 2022). The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention also reported that about “90%” of Americans consume too much sodium with an average daily intake of “3,400 mg”(CDC 2022). In October of 2021 the FDA called for the food industry to cut the amount of sodium that is being used in processed, packaged, and prepared food. The goal is that manufacturers of processed foods reduce the use of sodium by 12% to about 3,000 mg, which is still over the recommended amount. While this has not been fully put into effect yet, there is an overall realization that it is important to monitor sodium intake. 

Sodium and Your Health

You may be wondering, how does this affect my health? Sodium has been linked to higher blood pressure. This in turn can then lead to increased risk of heart disease and stroke. The CDC reports that annually there are “500,000” deaths related to high blood pressure which can become easily prevented and manageable through the reduction of salt intake. At Lake Country Medical Group, Hypertension is one of the leading causes of heart disease. Hypertension is having consistently high blood pressure.  It is important to us, that our patients and community members understand the effects of sodium on your health.  It may seem difficult to completely cut salt out of your diet, but there are several alternatives that can become replacements or different options when choosing the foods you consume. 

Ways to Reduce Salt Intake

Reducing the amount of salt intake in your diet is much easier than most people believe.When purchasing packaged foods it is good to look at the food labels and see if they have any mentions of “low” or “reduced” sodium.   Also, purchasing more fresh and frozen vegetables that have no salt included. Oftentimes “seasoned” frozen or canned vegetables are loaded with added sodium. In addition, eating leaner meats like fish and poultry can also lead to a lower sodium intake, especially if they are purchased fresh. 

When cooking at home, there are alternatives to salt. For example, garlic or salt free seasonings can add flavor without the added sodium of salt and salt based seasonings. Limiting pre-made sauces, mixes, and “instant” products is also an important way to stay away from sodium, since these products  include high levels of salt. Sauces and mixes can be easily made at home with much less sodium (See our favorite salt free seasoning below). When ordering foods at restaurants, be sure to ask the waiter to limit the amount of salt used. A little bit of salt goes a long way so if you cannot completely cut that out of your diet, just remember to limit yourself and to keep your heart in mind. 


Our Favorite Salt-Free  Seasonings

  1. Dash Original Salt-Free Seasoning Blend (Walmart or Publix)
  2.  Red Oak Provisions Everything Bagel Seasoning Salt-Free (Amazon)
  3. Salt-Free Cajun Seasoning (The Spice House)
  4. Mediterranean Garlic and Herb Salt-Free Blend (The Spice House)
  5. The Spice Hunter Salt Free Poultry Grill & Broil Blend (Amazon)