Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Salt shocker

By Helen Vong

As an active woman, you’re always trying to eliminate sodium from your diet – you certainly don’t want the side effects of high blood pressure, heart disease or potential weight gain that come with ingesting excess salt. To stay lean and healthy, your salt intake should be no more than one teaspoon per day (2,300 mg) – that’s the upper limit advocated by various agencies, including the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine.

Sticking to this amount isn’t too difficult if you’re only eating fresh whole foods, but it’s not easy to abolish processed, packaged fare from your diet. Even clean eaters can be lured in by hidden sources of salt, which account for 77 percent of the sodium in the average American’s diet. While you do need some salt for basic bodily functions, you can unintentionally go over the limit if you eat too many of these sneaky sources of sodium:

Bonus tip: If you must have salt, choose sea salt, and add it to your meal after it’s cooked. Its well-rounded flavor can help you use 1/3 less than table salt.

Photography: Peter Chou, Food styling: Claire Stubbs, Prop styling: Martine Blackhurst

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