The USDA recommends that all adults consume no more than 2300 mg. of sodium a day. That’s one measly teaspoon of salt. Middle-aged and older adults, blacks, and those with hypertension (high blood pressure) or pre-hypertension should limit salt even more, to 1500 milligrams daily. The reason? Eating too much salt puts you at higher risk for heart disease.
Salt is essential for our diets, but most of us eat much more than we need. The average daily intake in the US is 3436 milligrams. And more than half of Americans have hypertension or prehypertension.
People who often eat in restaurants, or rely on canned or processed foods, probably eat too much salt. Learning to cook with less salt may be easier than you think. My husband learned this after we had been married for a while. Foods that he used to enjoy suddenly tasted too salty. According to this article from the Center for Disease Control: “A randomized trial showed that the perceived pleasantness of highly salted food was based on dietary habit and that this perception could be changed by gradual reduction of dietary intake of sodium.”
But eating less salt doesn’t mean giving up on tasty food. Here are some ideas for home cooks who want to lower the amount of sodium in food.