Swap Salt for Spice
Using Less Salt Can Help Lower Your Blood Pressure
and Reduce Your Risk for Heart Disease and Stroke.

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Most of the sodium we consume is in the form of salt, and the vast majority of sodium we consume is in processed and restaurant foods. Too much sodium is bad for your health. It can increase your blood pressure and your risk for a heart attack and stroke. Heart disease and stroke are the 1st and 4th killers of men and women in Nebraska each year.

Current dietary guidelines for Americans recommend that adults in general should consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day.

However, if you are in the following population groups, you should consume no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day, and meet the potassium recommendation (4,700 mg/day) with food.

•    You are 40 years of age or older.
•    You are African American.
•    You have high blood pressure.
•    You have diabetes.
•    You have chronic kidney disease.

The 1,500 mg recommendation applies to about half of the U.S. population overall and the majority of adults. Nearly everyone benefits from reduced sodium consumption. Eating less sodium can help prevent, or control, high blood pressure.

Site Index
•    What can I do?
•    How much salt do I need?
•    Know Your Numbers
•    DASH Eating Plan
•    Swap Salt for Spice
•    Recipes
•    Test Your ‘Salt Savvy’ Quiz
•    Sodium Savvy Dining Options
•    Salt Shocker Videos
•    Podcasts
•    Other Resources
•    Professional Education
What Can I Do?
Read Your Food Labels: Most foods contain some salt. Salt is listed as sodium on the food label. Quick foods or processed foods such as - frozen meals, canned foods, and condiments (i.e. ketchup and mustard) are very high in sodium. The bulk of sodium is eaten through processed foods and restaurant foods.

Read the Nutrition Facts label and choose items that are lower in sodium. Be aware of the terms pickled, cured, & smoked. Foods labeled as such tend to be high in salt. As you choose to eat less salt your taste buds will adjust over time.

High Salt Foods Include:
•    Cheese
•    Olives
•    Cured meats
•    Chips
•    Soups
•    Sauces
Eat More Fruits & Vegetables: consume potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, sweet potatoes, spinach, and peaches.

Choose Low-Sodium Alternatives
When Eating At Home
•    Eat less processed foods and limit the salty snack foods
•    Eat more home-prepared foods, where you have more control over the sodium, and use little or no salt when cooking
•    Swap Salt for Spice: learn to use spices, herbs, & seasonings to enhance the taste of your food
•    Use the salt shaker less and use pepper more
•    Choose fresh, frozen, or canned foods with no added salt
•    Rinse salt from canned foods
•    Use vegetable oil instead of butter or margarine for cooking
•    Select unsalted soups, nuts, seeds, dried beans, peas, & lentils
When Eating Out
•    Be mindful of how much salt you are eating because more salt is eaten when you eat out
•    Ask for food prepared without salt or MSG (monosodium glutamate)
•    Taste your food before adding salt
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How Much Salt do I Need?                                                                                                                           
2,300 Milligrams (mg) of Sodium = 1 Teaspoon (Tsp) of Salt 
Further reduce your intake to 1,500 mg per day if you are 40 and older, African American, or if you currently have high blood pressure, diabetes, or you have chronic kidney disease.
Know Your Numbers
Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. High blood pressure usually has no symptoms and can increase your risk for heart disease. 1 in 3 U.S. adults has high blood pressure and anyone, including children, can develop it.
        Healthiest Borderline - At Risk
(talk to your doctor)
   High Blood Pressure
(talk to your doctor)
Blood Pressure
Less than 120 120 - 139 Greater than 140
Blood Pressure
  Less than 80 80 - 89 Greater than 90
*Have a blood pressure screening every year or more if you are at risk
To lower your risk for heart disease, get screened often and talk to your provider about your health. Be active your way and aim for 150 minutes of physical activity a week. Eating a healthy diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, low-fat dairy, and low in sodium can also help you maintain a healthy weight. If you smoke, try and quit, it is one of the best things you can do for your heart.
DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Eating Plan
Studies show that high blood pressure can be lowered & prevented by following the DASH Eating Plan, from the National Heart Lung & Blood Institute. The DASH Eating Plan is rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat milk products, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, nuts, and limits the amount of saturated fat.
Food Group
Low-Fat Milk Products
Lean Meats, Poultry, & Fish 
Fats & Oils 
Nuts, seeds, & Legumes
Sweets & Added Sugars
2,000 Calorie Diet
6-8 Servings per day
4-5 Servings per day
4-5 servings per day
2-3 servings per day
6 or less servings per day
2-3 servings per day
4-5 servings per week
5 or less servings per week
Visit DASH for more information.                                                                                                                       
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Swap Salt for Spice                                                                                                                                        
Using different spices can add variety to your meals at home while lowering the amount of sodium you are eating. Try adding a little variety to your vegetables with these seasonings—

Carrots: cinnamon, cloves, marjoram, nutmeg, rosemary, or sage
Corn: cumin, curry powder, onion, paprika, or parsley
Green Beans - curry powder, lemon juice, tarragon, or thyme
Greens: onion or pepper
Peas: ginger, marjoram, onion, parsley, or sage
Potatoes: dill, garlic, onion, paprika, parsley, or sage
Summer Squash: cloves, curry powder, nutmeg, rosemary, or sage
Tomatoes: basil, bay leaf, dill, onion, oregano, parsley, or pepper
Winter Squash: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, or onion

Try these seasonings with your meat, poultry, & fish

Beef: bay leaf, marjoram, nutmeg, onion, pepper, sage, or thyme
Lamb: curry powder, garlic, rosemary, or mint
Pork: garlic, onion, sage, pepper, or oregano
Veal: bay leaf, curry powder, ginger, marjoram, or oregano
Chicken: ginger, marjoram, oregano, paprika, rosemary, sage, tarragon
Fish: curry powder, dill, dry mustard, lemon juice, paprika, or pepper

Seasonings can add loads of flavor to heart healthy recipes. Basil can spruce up poultry, try cilantro or salsa with fish, & dill in low-fat cottage cheese. Add cracked black or red pepper to pasta, & add turmeric to rice dishes. A little spice can make heart-healthy recipes taste delicious.                                                                                                              
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pdficon DASH Diet Recipes                                                                                                                                      
Test Your ‘Salt Savvy’ Quiz

Salt is in the news a lot lately. Most reports say Americans are consuming too much of it. How much do you REALLY know about salt? Click on Test to see if your “salt savvy.”
- A resource from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln

CDC Salt Widget


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Salt Intake Widget.
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Sodium Savvy Dining                                                                                                                                                        
The Sodium Savvy web site allows you to search menus of participating restaurants in your area to find meals with more healthful options, including sodium. To be recognized by Healthy Dining Finder as “sodium savvy,” a menu item must contain:

• 750 mg of sodium or less for an entrée.
• 250 mg of sodium or less for an appetizer, side dish, or dessert.

Click the Healthy Dining Finder for more information.
Salt Shocker Videos
Excess salt consumption can be harmful to your health. Even if you never pick up the salt shaker, you may still be consuming too much sodium. Salt is hidden in many foods you might not suspect, like cottage cheese, ketchup, canned foods, processed deli meats, and bread. Watch these Five Short Videos for tips on how to eat less salt.

SOURCE: Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
icon-speaker_edited-1.gif (994 bytes)Click Here to search CDC Podcast database by topic.
Other Resources
Content Sources: Centers for Disease Control, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Iowa State University ExtensionNational Institutes of Health (Publication No. 06-4082), University of Nebraksa - Lincoln.
Every Woman Matters Link Office of Women's Health Link 

Cardiovascular Health
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