Sodium A Healthful Shake

You know the guideline for healthful eating: Choose and prepare foods with little salt. How have you addressed this "salty issue"? Check off the tips that apply to your approach to eating. Do you...

  • Shake a little salt on your food only after you taste it?
  • Enjoy plenty of fresh vegetables?
  • Keep the salt shaker in the cabinet, not on the table or kitchen counter where it's easier to use?
  • Skip the salt in cooking water—for pasta, rice, and vegetables?
  • Season food mostly with herbs and spices?
  • Read Nutrition Facts on food labels to check the amount of sodium in food and buy foods with less?
  • Consider the salt or sodium in restaurant food or fast food if you eat out regularly?
  • Enjoy processed meats such as corned beef, ham, bacon, bologna, salami, hot dogs, and pastrami only occasionally?
  • Buy brands of prepared foods and snack foods that have reduced sodium or salt or no added salt?
  • Go easy on condiments such as mustard, ketchup, soy sauce, and tartar sauce, or use brands with less sodium?
  • Balance your food choices: if you enjoy some foods with more sodium, also eat others with less?

How many boxes did you check?

Nine to eleven items: you're likely consuming moderate amounts of sodium and salt. Read on for more ideas.

Six to eight items: you're controlling the sodium and salt in your food choices but may be able to "shake the sodium habit" even more. Read on.

Five or fewer items: it's time to read on and try the tips in this chapter to consume a healthful amount of salt and potassium.

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