Make healthy choices: lower your salt intake

Canned or packaged ingredients are weeknight lifesavers, but they may be adding more sodium to your diet than you realize. According to the American Heart Association the average American consumes more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day — way more than the recommended range of 1,500-2,300 milligrams. Too much salt in your diet raises the risk of high blood pressure which in turn can lead to heart disease, stroke and kidney failure.

Many of us rely on processed foods for lack of fresh options or to help get a nutritious meal on the table with limited time. Unfortunately, these shortcuts are adding way more salt to our diet than the dining table salt shaker. The good news is that quick-to-use ingredients such as canned beans, vegetables and broths can be part of a healthy diet — if you take the time to choose wisely.

Many commonly used ingredients offer no-salt-added or low-sodium options. If you have difficulty finding these items, look for containers labeled organic. Often (but not always), these products will have less salt than traditional options. You may be surprised to see how much you can reduce your family’s sodium intake by making a healthier choice.

See the difference for yourself with these common pantry staples:

Regular sodium Reduced sodium No salt added
Black beans
½ cup
490mg 240mg 15mg
Chick peas
½ cup
470mg 230mg 30mg
Diced tomatoes
½ cup
200mg 15mg
Crushed tomatoes
½ cup
210mg 15mg
Whole tomatoes
½ cup
170mg 20mg
Taco seasoning
1 tablespoon
430mg 260mg
1 tablespoon
160mg 5mg
Soy sauce
1 tablespoon
920mg 575mg
Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon
65mg 45mg
Spaghetti sauce
½ cup
480mg 40mg
Chicken noodle soup
1 cup
690mg 470mg 135mg
Minestrone soup
1 cup
690mg 480mg 50mg
Tuna fish
190mg 140mg
Chicken broth
1 cup
860mg 570mg 45mg
Beef broth
1 cup
830mg 410mg 75mg
Vegetable broth
1 cup
540mg 130mg