As you may know, February is American Heart Month. What you may not know is that maintaining a low sodium diet can be a very important component to managing high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
According to GIANT Food Stores in-store nutritionists, no more than 2300 milligrams of sodium are recommended per day for the average person and no more than 1500 milligrams should be consumed for those with risk factors such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
While speaking on Good Day PA on abc27, Holly Doan, RD, LDN of GIANT noted that the average American consumes double the amount of sodium that is recommended.
“It’s so tricky. It’s in everything,” Doan said of watching out for sodium amount.
Doan cautioned consumers to be aware of hidden salt in foods such as:
- Canned soups
- Canned vegetables
- Marinades, sauces, and gravies
- Luncheon meats
- Frozen entrees
- Restaurant meals
- Processed convenience foods
As for reducing sodium intake, Doan offered these tips:
- Choose low sodium or no sodium added options
- Rinse canned vegetables in a colander under cold water to remove excess sodium
- Ditch the salt shaker and use salt-free alternatives
- Utilize fresh herbs and spices
- Cook more meals at home
- When choosing packaged items follow these sodium guidelines: Single serve item: 140 mg or less / Meal item: 500 mg or less
In the coming months, GIANT is offering free educational classes on nutrition. To register for the in the upcoming months. Contact Holly Doan at (717) 909-7012 to register for the next class on Saturday, February 21 at the Hampden Township GIANT or to inquire about other upcoming classes.