Q: I’ve been trying to eat healthy but I tend to put salt on a lot of my “healthy” foods to give them more taste. Is salt bad for you? Or am I OK to salt my foods in moderation?
A: Taste-wise, salt can be an extremely important ingredient in the food you eat. Why? It’s what makes food taste good!
Unfortunately, it’s so common in foods that it’s easy to consume too much!
To answer your question, it really depends on your total daily intake. If you’re able to stay within a healthy range of sodium intake, then it’s perfectly fine to salt your foods.
How Much Salt Per Day Is Recommended?
The American Heart Association’s recommended daily sodium intake is roughly 1,500mg per day. Keep in mind there is more than that in just ¾ of a teaspoon of salt.
If you’re concerned about your salt intake then figure out how much you consume on a regular basis. Remember to count the total sodium intake in all of the food you eat, not just what you put on your food. The majority of salt consumed comes from processed foods.
And if you think you’re not consuming more than the recommended amount, realize that 9 out of 10 Americans consume too much sodium! So, it may be worth it to to track your sodium intake for a few days to be sure.
If you are consuming more than the recommended amount you will want to cut back. And every little bit helps! Check out this startling statistic: Reducing salt in the American diet by as little as one-half teaspoon (or three grams) per day could prevent nearly 100,000 heart attacks and 92,000 deaths each year.
The best way to reduce your salt consumption is to simply make the bulk of your diet consist of whole foods and to read labels. Also, try seasoning foods you prepare with spices such as cinnamon, garlic, ginger or pepper instead of salt to enhance flavor. It may do your heart some good and will prevent the bloating that is associated with high salt intake.
Is Sea Salt Better For You?
Oh, and if you think you’re safe because you’re using sea salt, think again! Sea salt is very similar to table salt, having pretty much the same amount of sodium. The only difference is it can contain a few more minerals. Unfortunately, it may contain heavy metals such as lead, as well.