7 Ways to Tame Your Salt Habit

Your body needs salt to function, but too much of it raises your blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Here's how to cut back (8 Photos)

Arricca Elin SanSone on Feb 17, 2012 at 5:43PM

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7 Ways to Tame Your Salt Habit

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Stick to a Daily Sodium Allowance

The recommended daily intake of sodium for healthy adults is 2300 mg. If you’re African American or older than 51, it’s only 1550 mg. It may sound like a lot but it’s surprising how quickly your meals can add up to your daily allowance. On average, Americans take in nearly 3,300 milligrams of sodium per day, almost 1,000 more milligrams than is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. “Treat sodium like it’s money and you’re on a budget,” says Marilyn Tanner-Blasiar, R.D., L.D., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Let’s say 2300mg is the equivalent of 23 dollars. If you ‘spend’ 1000 mg, or 10 dollars, on chicken soup at lunch, your budget is nearly half gone.” Better to divvy it up more sensibly, trying not to exceed 600 mg of sodium per meal and snacks. Having a hard time keeping track? Smart phone apps, such as Sodium One, make it easy to keep a running tally.

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