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Lower your salt intake

Michelle Dudash, RD, is nationally recognized as an expert in teaching people how health and food can happily co-exist. Through her 18 years of food business experience as a Le Cordon Bleu certified chef having cooked at a five star rest...

Slash salt, kick up flavor

Tthe newly revised 2010 Dietary Guidelines decrease the recommended upper limit for sodium intake from 2300 milligrams to 1500. The average American eats 3000 milligrams of salt per day -- which is well over the limit and puts us at risk for high blood pressure, stroke, kidney disease and a host of other health problems. Surprisingly, only 11 percent of this sodium comes from the salt shaker; 80 percent comes from processed and restaurant food. Fortunately, you don't have to sacrifice flavor when you're cutting salt.

Woman reading label

 10 easy ways to cut the salt & keep the flavor

Kick the cans
Switch from regular canned vegetables to frozen or fresh -- or reduced-sodium canned varieties.

Garlic powder
If you love garlic salt, try sprinkling garlic powder instead.

Potassium power
Replace regular salt with a substitute such as Morton Lite Salt. It cuts sodium by 40 percent and replaces much of it with potassium.

Order smart
Many restaurants add salt when finishing your order. Next time, ask the waiter to hold the salt.

Sub your dressing
By pouring dressing over your salad, you're probably adding hundreds of milligrams of extra sodium. Instead, drizzle balsamic vinegar, olive oil, ground black pepper and just a touch of your favorite dressing to save big.

Easy on the cheesy
Though it's a good source of calcium, cheese can really pile on the sodium. Try replacing it a few times each week with avocado slices on your sandwich or in your salad to add the creaminess and flavor back in.

Check soup labels
One can of soup could put your daily salt intake way over the limit. Read the labels at the store and look for healthier, reduced-sodium choices. Add flavor with a touch of parmesan cheese, freshly ground black pepper and a few drops of red wine vinegar.

Ditch the drive-thru
Fast food is ridiculously high in sodium. Mix things up by bringing your own lunch to work. Try homemade pasta salad with grilled chicken and fresh vegetables.

Go natural at the deli
That 4 ounces of deli meat in your sandwich contains more than two-thirds of your daily sodium limit. Read the label and look for lower-sodium, natural versions such as Boar's Head.

Be cautious of rice
Rice mixes -- even whole-grain varieties -- contain high amounts of sodium. Flavor your own rice pilaf with garlic powder, dried parsley, onion flakes and low-sodium chicken broth.

More ways to reduce your salt intake

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