Dine Out, Watch the Sodium
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- Americans eat on average about 3,300mg of sodium a day. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend reducing sodium intake to less than 2,300mg per day (about 1 teaspoon of table salt). Adults with hypertension should further limit sodium to 1,500mg a day.
- Too much sodium can increase your blood pressure. According to the World Health Organization, decreasing salt intake from 10g to 5g per day would reduce overall stroke rate by 23 percent and cardiovascular disease rate by 17 percent.
Never hesitate to ask your server to present sauces on the side, and request that no salt be added to your dish. In all likelihood, your food is already loaded with sodium from breading, marinating, curing, and so forth.
Cut the Salt
Instead of salt, try using other salt-free spices and seasonings. You won’t sacrifice taste, and by reducing salt, you will start enjoying the natural flavor of foods.
Ask for sauces on the side so that you can dip your food instead of fishing for pieces from the dish. This step alone can reduce your sodium consumption by half, if not more!
Steamed options are usually—though not always—better than deep fried, braised, stir fried, or sautéed options.
|Instead of this...
500 mg sodium/cup
6 mg sodium/cup
|To make steamed rice even healthier, ask for whole-grain brown rice, which contains significantly more dietary fiber and vitamins than white rice.
Hot & Sour Soup
Seafood & Tofu Soup
|Instead of ordering soup that is high in flavor but lacks nutrients, opt for one that’s loaded with protein and veggies. It will still taste good, but this is a much healthier choice. Remember to ask that no salt be added.
|Appetizers with fresh ingredients with- out breading, frying, or marinating are always a better bet. Instead of drowning your food in sauce, dip it instead.
Szechuan String Beans
Kailan in Oyster Sauce
Bok Choy in Broth
|Choose veggies that are sautéed, steamed, or braised in broth rather than sauce—try Luffa or Baby bok choy in broth. Even better, fish out the veggies and don’t drink the broth.
Beef in Brown Sauce
Stewed Beef Brisket w/ Tomato
|Acidity and sweetness both enhance saltiness, which means less salt. There- fore, dishes with a generous amount of tomato or pineapple are good options. ￼￼￼￼￼