Salt, we all need some. Yet, we eat too much because they are pouring it on for us in much of the food that we buy! Most of us get too much sodium/salt. The daily recommended amount is 2300 mg or less, but most Americans consume about 3436 mg each day. However, it isn’t us adding it on at the table or in the kitchen. That’s right, the food companies have added it for us. A lot of unneeded salt has been added to the foods that we often eat. Here are some perfect examples. A half of a cup of regular canned green beans at 40 calories a serving has 380 mg of sodium a serving, which is 16% of the daily recommended amount. Yet, a serving of no-salt-added canned green beans has the same amount of calories and only 10 mg of sodium. A half of cup of tomato pasta sauce has 780 mg of sodium, most of which is just added salt. Frozen pizza can be a quick and inexpensive meal but 1 slice or 1/8 of pizza has 720 mg of sodium, 30% of the daily recommended amount. Plus, who eats just one slice of pizza?
So what can you do? The ONIE project developed a handy rule of thumb for us to use when grocery shopping called “The Salt Check”. This Salt check is simple and easy to use. First check the calories and then find the milligrams (mg) of sodium. Good items will have 1mg of sodium or less for 1 calorie. The item on the right is good because the label shows that each serving has 90 calories or 90 mgs of sodium, or 1 for 1! When selecting grocery items choose food items that meet the 1 for 1 salt check. Avoid food items that are bad or have more than 1 mg of sodium for 1 calorie. The label below is bad because it has 270 mgs of sodium but only 90 calories.
If you spot a food item with too much salt, there are options for you to lower your salt intake. Often, you don’t have to give up anything. ONIE tips on reducing your sodium:
- Look for a low-sodium or no-salt-added options.
- Choose fresh or fresh frozen items without sauce.
- Drain and rinse canned items (reduces the salt by up to 41%).
- Eat less of foods that are high in added sodium like frozen pizza, instead make your own pizza.
To help you get started checking your salt, this week we are featuring a 1 for 1 certified recipe that you can try at home.
1 for 1 Fresh Summer Salsa
Servings: 1 cup – approximately 6 servings
½ cup reduced sodium black beans, drained & rinsed
½ cup no-salt-added sweet corn
1 (15 oz) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
1 cup diced avocado
1 cup diced mango
1 jalapeno, diced
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
¼ tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cumin
¼ cup fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp lime juice
Combine all ingredients into a medium bowl and enjoy with your favorite summer veggies or baked tortilla chips.
* Recipe provided courtesy of Alyson Dykstra, Homeland Grocery.
The ONIE Team