How to Watch Your Salt Intake

Americans as a whole eat a great deal of salt, but who can blame us, it makes our food taste good. New York City wants to curb the trend and recently proposed a plan to put salt-shaker symbols next to foods that are high in sodium. The FDA recommends that adults consume less than 2,300 mg of salt per day, but most reports put the actual average intake around 3,300 mg. The principle behind the limit is that excessive salt intake has long been associated with hypertension (high blood pressure), the most common chronic disease in America. However, recent research in the past few years has cast some doubt on that notion and suggests that the generation of hypertension is much more complex. Despite this, I still believe that it is important to be aware of how much salt we are consuming daily and to try to keep it in moderation. 2,300 mg is only about a teaspoon, so it’s a very easy limit to exceed, especially when consuming fast or processed foods.

Luckily, it’s easy to cut down on salt by flavoring through herbs and spices. Spices are a perfect compromise to foods that can otherwise contain too much salt; they are non-caloric and don’t add in any associated risks. And if you find yourself missing salt, don’t worry. It takes taste buds only a few weeks to adjust to a lower salt diet – much faster than one would think.

dr. uruj kamal

dr. uruj kamal

Dr. Uruj Kamal is a second year resident in Psychiatry at Baystate Medical Center/Tufts University School of Medicine. A Stony Brook native, she enjoys combining her knowledge of mental health and awareness with her passion for health, fitness and beauty. In her spare time, enjoys fashion, kayaking on West Meadow Beach, and creating westernized-Asian recipes.